Cellphone users under 21 in Vermont could see jail time if new bill is passed

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You may be old enough to drive, vote, join the military and buy a lottery ticket, but in Vermont, it may soon be against the law to have a cellphone if you’re under the age of 21.

A Vermont lawmaker has pushed forward new legislation that would prohibit possession of a cellphone for residents younger than 21.

State Sen. John Rodgers, a Democrat, cited various dangers of cellphone use as grounds for the proposed bill, including as it relates to car crash deaths and bullying.

“The use of cellphones while driving is one of the leading killers of teenagers in the United States. According to the United States Department of Transportation, cellphones are involved in 1.6 million automobile crashes each year, causing half a million injuries and 6,000 deaths,” the bill states.

The bill, which was referred to the judiciary committee on Jan. 7, also stated that “young people frequently use cellphones to bully and threaten other young people, activities that have been linked to many suicides. The Internet and social media, accessed primarily through cell phones, are used to radicalize and recruit terrorists, fascists, and other extremists. Cell phones have often been used by mass shooters of younger ages for research on previous shootings.”

Rodgers, a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, said he filed the bill to make a point, according to The Barre Montpelier Times Argus.

“I have no delusions that it’s going to pass. I wouldn’t probably vote for it myself,” Rodgers told the paper.

If passed into law, any person under 21 who violates the act or is found in possession of a cellphone, would be imprisoned for no more than a year or fined $1,000 or both.

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