In the wake of Pokémon Go arriving in the UK, a number of police forces have urged players to refrain from driving while playing the game.
Pokémon Go has only been available on Android and iPhone for 24 hours and yet already police have politely advised motorists to keep their eyes on the road ahead, as opposed to on a screen while trying to catch Pokémon.
Sussex Police force tweeted: #PokemonGo now in UK! We’ll admit to having a play. Gotta #CatchEmAll? Please take care and never Pokémon&drive.
— Sussex Police (@sussex_police) 14 July 2016
Police in Richmond have also been giving out advice. In this case, it’s to avoid swimming in the Thames to catch Squirtle. “Don’t be a Drowzee and walk around with your head in a daze ─ always be aware of people who may be watching you to steal your phone or Charmander.”
It also warned the game can quickly drain the battery of a phone and players under 16 years old should tell their parents where they are going and that driving around to hatch a Pokémon egg, which requires the player to travel a distance of 2, 5 or 10km, should be done while walking.
“Don’t #Pokemon and drive. That egg won’t hatch if you’re driving. Remember it’s Onyx-acceptable and if you’re caught ─ you risk a £100 fine and three points on your licence,” the Surrey-based police force added.
— Richmond Police (@MPSRichmond) 14 July 2016
You could accuse police of jumping on the Pokémon Go bandwagon (and making bad Pokémon puns) but distracted drivers is a very big problem and one that is putting lives at risk. Plus there’s the fact at least two armed robberies have taken place as a result of the game.
One force in America is going as far as inviting players to join them in a bid to educate Pokemon Go players. Suffield Police is hosting an event on the local town green on the 22nd of July, from between 3pm and 7pm.
“Come show off your best Pokémon in a safe place,” it said, adding that it would setup a ‘Lure’ to attract Pokémon. Lures are bought with real money and attract greater numbers of Pokemon to a Poke Stop, giving nearby players the chance to catch more of them.
While it is possible to play Pokémon Go while driving, the distance counter when attempting to hatch eggs is said to disable beyond a certain speed (estimated around 13mph) so you are better off walking anyway. Especially if you value your driving licence.
Those who promise not to Pokémon and Drive can head to the respective mobile app store to download the game. Check out our tips and tricks here to get you started.