Watch as a Pokemon GO player in Baltimore, Maryland ends up sideswiping a parked police vehicle while trying to play the game and drive at the same time.
As soon as Pokemon GO launched, a police station in Australia released safety tips for the mass of players out and about searching for Pokemon. Despite the efforts of the Australian police station and the pleading of the Pokemon GO loading screen to “be aware of your surroundings,” there have still been numerous unfortunate incidents since the game’s launch that could have been avoided. The latest example occurred this past week in Baltimore, Maryland, when someone was playing Pokemon GO while driving, and ended up sideswiping a parked police car.
The accident occurred at night, and was captured by the body cameras of three officers standing on the sidewalk. Luckily, no one was in the police car when it was hit, and no one in the car of the distracted Pokemon GO player was injured either. Even so, it was a situation that could have been avoided had the driver been paying attention instead of playing Pokemon GO.
If Pokemon GO is able to maintain its popularity, and incidents like these keep occurring, it will be interesting to see if any legal action is taken against the game. Companies are hit with class action lawsuits all the time for things like this, and it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Niantic, The Pokemon Company, or even Nintendo hit with a few over the next few months. To that end, there’s also a possibility that legislation outright banning Pokemon GO while operating a motor vehicle could be introduced by lawmakers.
#PokemonGO is not all fun and games. Here is a video of a distracted driver who struck one of our cars. #PlaySafe pic.twitter.com/kOTfbTcILo— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) July 19, 2016
Even if Pokemon GO was banned for people driving cars, others could still end up injured playing the game. For example, a couple of men in California literally walked off a cliff while playing Pokemon GO, and a young girl was hit by a car while she was out searching for Pokemon. So, it’s important to be aware one one’s surroundings at all times when playing the game.
The takeaway from these incidents is that people need to practice common sense when playing Pokemon GO. A lot of these situations seem like they could have been avoided entirely had people been more mindful of where they were and what they were doing, and so hopefully stories like these serve as cautionary tales for Pokemon GO players.
While Pokemon GO seems to have caused its fair share of problems since it launched, the game can also be credited with being a positive force in some cases as well. For example, an attempted murderer was arrested thanks to the help of a pair of Marine veterans that were playing the game, and since players have to walk around when playing, its also one of the few video games that actively encourages exercising. All things considered, there’s been both bad and good things to come out of Pokemon GO and its immense popularity, and if people stop playing the game at inappropriate times, perhaps we’ll start seeing more positive stories reported than negative ones.
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices.
Source: Baltimore Police