MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX/Gray News) A Vermont lawmaker is proposing a ban on cellphones for people under 21, and violations could mean fines or even prison time.
Sen. John Rodgers cites cellphone use while driving and the use of cellphones to bully others as reasoning for the bill. He also said cellphones have been used by mass shooters to research previous shootings.
The Democrat's bill says people under 21 are not mature enough to have them, just like cigarettes, alcohol and guns. Despite sponsoring the bill, Rodgers said he wouldn't vote for it, saying he is trying to prove a point.
"If we're going to allow 18-year-olds to vote and join the military and such, they should have all the rest of the rights," Rodgers said.
Some in Vermont are critical of the proposal, saying people would ignore such a law. Others said cellphones are important so parents can communicate with their children.
"I'd support restrictions around use in vehicles and things like that, but it's more a matter of educating kids about appropriate use of cellphones," Pascal Cheng of Burlington said.
Rodgers agrees, saying people should be educated on cellphone usage "just as much as guns."
The bill proposes a year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000 for violations.