From New York City to Sydney, Australia, police departments are issuing the same warning:
Tech Insider was sent the following from the New York Police Department:
- “Be alert at all times
- Stay aware of your surroundings
- Play in pairs or as a group to ensure your safety
- Do not drive or ride your bike, skateboard, or other device while interacting with the app…you can’t do both safety
- Do not trespass onto private property or go to areas you usually would not if you weren’t playing “Pokémon GO”
- Be aware and tell your kids about ‘stranger-danger.’ The app may draw strangers together in real life at ‘Pokéstops’
- Parents – be aware of 3rd party software apps claiming to enhance the gaming experience however, these 3rd party apps only gives access to sensitive data – i.e. name, email, calendar”
The advice was echoed by police departments in the three major territories where “Pokémon GO” is available: the United States, New Zealand, and Australia.
In Auburn, New York on Tuesday night, a 28-year-old driver crashed the car he was driving into a tree. He was reportedly playing “Pokémon GO” while behind the wheel. It was the first instance of a major car crash while playing the new game. The Auburn Police Department issued a similar warning to that of the NYPD, which insisted that players not drive cars while playing the game.
Another accident occurred at Texas A&M, where one driver crashed their car into a parked vehicle — the driver had abandoned it suddenly to catch a Pokémon, according to the Texas A&M Police Twitter account.
7/11-Traffic accident: Illegally parked car struck from behind (*Airbags deployed in 2nd car). 1st driver had exited to catch a Pokémon.
— Texas A&M Police (@TAMUPolice) July 13, 2016
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again — please, please don’t play “Pokémon GO” while you’re driving. Just like driving while texting, or driving while blindfolded, or driving while not paying attention to driving, driving while playing “Pokémon GO” is ridiculously dangerous.
We get it, we do. The urge to fill that commute time with Pokémon capture is strong. Maybe now is the time to look into a carpool option? Or how about the train? No matter what you do, please stay safe out there. “Pokémon GO” is a great, new, fascinating social experience of a game. Please stay around to keep playing it with us!