State Senator John Rodgers of Vermont recently has proposed a bill to ban cell phone use or possession for people who are under the age of 21. The proposed law arose from his concerns about fatal car accidents and other incidents in which cell phones have been related to teenager fatalities. For example, teenager suicides often result from online bullying, in which cell phones play a key role. In less common but equally tragic situations, teenagers who commit mass shootings and other terrorist acts sometimes use cell phones to plan their crimes. The bill notes that cell phones are the primary way in which teenagers access social media.
In discussing the reasoning behind the bill, Rodgers also claimed that a cell phone can pose a greater threat than a firearm. He is committed to preserving Second Amendment rights, which he feels have not received enough respect from the Vermont legislature. A recent bill that was passed by the legislature would have imposed a 24-hour waiting period before the completion of a gun sale. Eventually, the Governor of Vermont vetoed this bill.
The cell phone law would impose up to a year of jail time and a $1,000 fine for underage possession or use. A violation would be classified as a misdemeanor. However, Rodgers does not believe that the bill will pass and noted that he might not vote for it. He intends merely to call attention to the issue.
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