Mayor Michael Winters of Great Falls [Montana] was stopped at a traffic light on the West Side on Tuesday, talking on a cellphone.
A motorist next to the mayor’s truck rolled down her window and shot a photograph of Winters talking on his phone while in traffic...
The city of Great Falls passed an ordinance in July 2012 prohibiting the use of cellphones by drivers, even when stopped at a traffic light. Winters voted for the ordinance.
Shouldn’t the mayor of a city follow a city ordinance?
Yes, Winters told the Tribune this week. But the mayor said there is more to the story, while suggesting this was a “pretty crummy” attempt by local critics to hurt him in Tuesday’s municipal general election.
Winters conceded perhaps this was a technical violation of the city ordinance, although traffic was stopped at the time. When the light changed, he pulled over to the side of the road to hold the telephone conversation, as motorists are supposed to do, Winters said.
“I pull over as quickly as I can,” Winters said. “When somebody’s calling the mayor, the mayor ought to answer the phone.”
Winters added, “The person who took the picture is a hypocrite,” saying he understands it was a female attorney, to whom he waved as she took the photograph. He said the motorist had an unrestrained dog in her car, and it appeared to him she was not wearing a seat belt. She appeared to be guilty of more than one violation, Winters theorized.
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