By now Pokemon GO players are keenly aware of the dangers of playing the game at inappropriate times. And yet, some players still choose to take that chance, finding themselves in hot water when they get caught out.
The latest example of someone being reprimanded for playing Pokemon GO when they shouldn’t be comes out of Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver police report that they recently fined one player after he was caught driving while playing by two Vancouver police officers. The officers issued the man with a $368 ticket for his troubles.
The Vancouver police department also took to Twitter to issue a stern warning about playing Pokemon GO while at the wheel. “While playing #PokemonGO may be fun, it’s not worth risking your life or the lives of others so that you can play while driving!” The fear of losing your life (or taking someone else’s) and that hefty fine should hopefully discourage other Pokemon GO players from doing the same.
While some may argue that that ticket is too costly, many others will argue that the Pokemon GO player in question was lucky to get away with just a fine. In Japan, one Pokemon GO-playing driver actually killed a woman due to the distraction. The Vancouver Police Department surely wants to avoid any similar incidents happening in its city.
While playing #PokemonGo may be fun, it's not worth risking your life or the lives of others so that you can play while driving! Not to mention the $368 ticket this driver received after he pulled up beside two police officers while playing & driving. #DontDriveDistracted! #VPD pic.twitter.com/kvlXCdcuhy
— Vancouver Police (@VancouverPD) November 13, 2017
In addition to the tragic accident in Japan, a study that analyzed social media sites such as Twitter noted hundreds of thousands of Pokemon GO-related traffic distractions within a 10-day period. The same study also noted over a dozen car accidents during that same time period, highlighting again that playing Pokemon GO while driving can have serious consequences.
It’s understandable why Pokemon GO players would opt to drive around playing the game instead of going on foot. Walking from location to location can be exhausting and driving can get players around quicker. There’s also that temptation to play the game during the morning commute, just to save time. But the risk is simply too great and the stakes are far too high – it’s better to go it on foot than to sit and play behind the wheel.
If players are still committed to playing the game while in a vehicle, they can just copy the Pokemon GO players who hired drivers to get them around the city. At least by doing that, players will be a lot safer than if they played while driving themselves and they’d get to avoid those expensive fines, too.
Pokemon GO is out now on Android and iOS.