ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Driving and using your cell phone has been against the law in Albuquerque since 2007, but now the county wants to do the same although with some technology tweaks.
Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins says the city's ordinance is a bit out of date, so the county will include such language as no tweeting, texting or sending -mails and will include devices like smart phones, blackberry's and I-Pads.
Do the ordinances work?
APD says it hands out about 200 cell-phone tickets a month, but the department's goal isn't citing people. Instead it's educating them.
APD concedes most officers are rolling down the window and giving people visual or verbal warnings: put the cell phone away; you are breaking the law.
Hart Stebbins agrees that education is the county's goal as well, but also they want the law to be consistent all over the county.
In December, the National Transportation Safety Board called for a national ban of the use of any portable electronic devices while driving. Hart Stebbins says they don't have the political support to do that
But what the NTSB study shows if you are not focusing on the road, you are risk to yourself and the people around you. A study from the National Safety council found drivers using cell phones fail to see 50 percent of the information in their driving environment.
The county's cell phone ordinance is scheduled to be introduced during the March 13 commission meeting followed by a 30 day public comment period. It will be voted on in April.
County penalties would be the same as a city. A guilty or no-contest plea on the first violation would be a $100 fine, and after that it would be $200 per violation.
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