Vermont bill would ban cellphone use for those under 21

MONTPELIER, Vt. — While not expected to have any chance of becoming law, a bill proposed in the Vermont state senate this week would ban anyone under the age of 21 from using or possessing a cellphone.

The controversial bill was introduced by Democratic state senator John Rodgers on the first day of Vermont’s 2020 legislative session. The bill would make cellphone possession or use a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of a year behind bars and a $1,000 fine, according to the Times Argus.

The bill cites traffic accident concerns and bullying among the reasons for the proposed ban. “The use of cell phones while driving is one of the leading killers of 15 teenagers in the United States,” according to the bill.

“Young people frequently use cell phones to bully and threaten other young people, activities that have been linked to many suicides,” the bill states.

“In light of the dangerous and life-threatening consequences of cell phone use by young people, it is clear that persons under 21 years of age are not developmentally mature enough to safely possess them,” the bill concludes, placing cellphone use in the same category as the right to possess firearms, smoke cigarettes, or consume alcohol.

“I have no delusions that it’s going to pass. I wouldn’t probably vote for it myself,” he said. Rodgers told the Times Argus. He said he introduced the bill to make a point.

Several states have placed a ban on people under 21 years old using their cellphone while driving, but none have introduced an all-encompassing age limit, WMAQ reported.

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