Proposed bill would ban cellphone use for anyone under 21

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WLNS) — A newly introduced bill would make owning a cellphone under the age of 21 illegal.

The Vermont bill, S.212, would make possession or use of a cellphone a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of a year behind bars or a $1,000 fine or both.

According to the legislation, there are links between cellphone use by people under the age of 21 to a rise in driving fatalities, suicides, mass shootings and terrorism.

The bill cites that cell phones are involved in 1.6 million automobile crashes each year, according to the United States Department of Transportation.

“The internet and social media, accessed primarily through cell phones, are used to radicalize and recruit terrorists, fascists and other extremists,” the bill reads.

Senator John Rodgers, a Democrat, said he introduced the bill on Tuesday to draw attention to restrictions on guns.

The state recently increased the smoking age to 21 and barred those under 21 from buying a gun unless they take a hunter safety course.

“I have no delusions that it’s going to pass,” he told the Barre Montpelier Times Argus newspaper on Wednesday. “I wouldn’t probably vote for it myself.”

Rodgers says he thinks owning a cellphone may be more dangerous than owning a gun.

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