Police helicopter tracks suspicious driver, seems he’s simply enjoying Pokemon Go

Police helicopter tracks suspicious driver, seems he’s simply enjoying Pokemon Go

A police helicopter following a motorist driving suspiciously at three o’clock in the morning found out that he was really up to no good, but in a different way than they thought. The driver was out hunting Pokemon.

The “incident” occurred last Monday in York, just north of Toronto, when the driver was observed by the York Regional Police helicopter driving erratically, cutting across lanes, parking in parking lots momentarily, and stopping in front of houses in a residential neighborhood. The driver’s use of Pokemon Go explains all of this, of course, but it was impossible to tell from the air. The whole thing was caught on camera and he was eventually stopped by police who found out that he was just trying to catch them all. He received a “stern warning” about driving while distracted.

The York Regional Police released the video on YouTube and took this opportunity to remind the public of how dangerous it can be to drive while throwing Pokeballs at imaginary critters, especially since they’ve been receiving many calls from concerned citizens about people wandering and gathering at Pokestops and Gyms.

Pokemon Go developer Niantic knows about this danger, and have tried to take measures to stop it. The game has always warned you to be alert and stay aware of your surroundings, but a new update has added even more. Now if it notices that you’re going faster than humanly possible a pop-up appears warning you not to play while driving. You can get rid of it by clicking a button that affirms that you’re a passenger and not driving yourself, but clearly people are ignoring that.

This is a worldwide problem, as well.

In Taiwan police officials have issued 1,210 tickets in the last week for smartphone use while driving, with the vast majority of them on scooters.

“The whole country is using their smart phones like crazy playing this internet game,” said Yen San-lung, the head of law enforcement in the traffic division of Taipei’s police department.

In Thailand, cellular services have agreed to create specific play zones for Pokemon Go, making certain places (like the Government House) no-entry locations. The Army was also distressed to know that the monsters had infiltrated their bases, and are introducing measures to regulate playing of the game by military personnel. Temples, hospitals, railway tracks, and roads will be among the red zones where no Pokemon appear.

“The game developer needs to avoid having players chase Pokemon in restricted areas,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan. “People need to be careful while playing the game in public places to avoid accidents and violating the rights of other people.”

The reaction to the game’s popularity may seem a bit extreme, but driving while looking at your phone is one of the best ways of getting in an accident. As exciting as it may be to hunt Pokemon, it’s not worth getting a hefty ticket, or injuring yourself or others. Capture carefully, folks.

Original Article

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