New York could dish out fines for texting while crossing the street

Everyone knows that it’s really not a good idea to look at your phone screen while walking along, but pretty much everyone still does it.

The risky behavior can lead to bumps, knocks, and even unintended splashes. At the extreme end of the calamity scale, it can result in a collision with a car, truck, or bus, and we all know who comes off worse in that kind of accident.

Following in the footsteps of Honolulu a couple of years ago, the New York State Senate last week introduced a bill proposing a ban on texting while crossing the street.

If it becomes law, those who break it face fines of between $25 and $50 for a first-time offense. Repeat the misdemeanor within 18 months and you could be forced to cough up as much as $250 for your hazardous habit.

And the law wouldn’t just affect smartphones. Stare at the display of a camera, gaming device, tablet, or pretty much any other electronic gadget while crossing the street and you could find yourself in trouble with the cops. The only exemption offered is if your texting relates to some kind of emergency situation.

In comments reported by the Guardian, John Liu, the New York state senator who introduced the bill, pointed out that you’d still be able to talk on your handset while crossing the street. It’s the behavior of looking down and losing sense of your surroundings that he wants to stamp out. “[The bill] does not say you can’t talk on the phone,” Liu said. “We’re talking about handheld devices … you can wait the five seconds to get to the other side.”

As you might expect, not everyone is happy about the proposal. Marco Conner of Transportation Alternatives, a group dedicated to reclaiming the streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transitS described the idea as “terribly misguided” and said that in some accidents involving pedestrians and drivers, it’s the driver who’s looking at their phone rather than the pedestrian. Conner called for more research on the issue before introducing such a law.

Honolulu introduced a similar rule in 2017 in a bid to make its streets safer. First-time offenders are hit with a $35 fine, though this can increase to $75 for a second offense. If you still fail to learn your lesson and are caught a third time, expect to have to fork out up to $99.

Movies & TV

Skip the sunshine this summer and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best movies streaming on Hulu right now (June 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (June 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Mobile

Longing for an old-school phone? You'll flip out for the best flip phones

Welcome back to the 1990s and early 2000s. There seems to be a mini flip phone craze going on. Smartphones are great, but who doesn't love a good, old-fashioned, pocket-size flip phone? Here are the five of the best you can buy today.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Leaked date and what you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a month away, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Photography

Tapped out? Edit faster with 5 gesture shortcuts in Lightroom CC on mobile

Missing those keyboard shortcuts when photo editing on a smartphone or iPad? Lightroom has a handful of gesture-based controls that can help fill the gaps, if you know where to find them.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

Learn how to create a 360-degree panorama with your phone and Google Street View

Google Street View encourages you to explore the great outdoors, including landmarks, natural wonders, and even your own neighborhood. Learn how to create 360-degree imagery using your smartphone camera to add locations to Google Maps.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Mobile

Israeli company claims it can unlock any iPhone up to iOS 12.3 for police

Israel-based forensics firm Cellebrite claimed that its UFED Premium service can unlock any iPhone. The device will be sold as an on-premises tool, which means that the police will be able to use it any way they want.
Cars

Uber drivers reportedly triggering higher fares through Surge Club

Uber drivers are reportedly participating in a so-called Surge Club to artificially trigger higher fares. Many drivers said that they do not want to join the shady practice, but they are forced to do so due to pay cuts.
Mobile

American Airlines expands its fast in-flight Wi-Fi, but it will still cost you

American Airlines has completed the installation of satellite-based in-flight Wi-Fi for the whole of its mainline narrowbody fleet comprising more than 700 planes, mainly on its domestic routes. But the service still costs.
Mobile

Global Honor 20 launch marred by fear, as Huawei gets squeezed by U.S. ban

The launch of the Honor 20 series may be the first new device range to be seriously hit by Huawei’s presence on the Entity List. Huawei executives reportedly fear sales will be poor, which may force it to cut off shipments.
Mobile

Huawei Mate 30 Pro render shows 2019 really is all about weird camera arrays

The Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro may join the Mate X folding phone as the company's star products for late 2019. This is what we know about the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro so far.