‘Pokémon no-go’ warning to drivers over game craze

Policing minister says concentrating while you drive is common sense. Photo: PA

Policing minister says concentrating while you drive is common sense. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Motorists are being warned not to play the highly-popular Pokémon Go smartphone game while driving.

Despite being officially released in the UK only this week, the augmented-reality game has become something of a phenomenon, having already been downloaded by millions.

This has led to fears that motorists may be tempted to play the game while behind the wheel, prompting warnings from the RAC and Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) have warned.

IAM digital content executive Samson Rwangu warned: 'Kids and adults alike are going crazy for this game. But the risk is that some people are going to be playing it at the wrong time – and driving a car is the last place you should be looking for Pidgey, Rattata or the others.'

RAC spokesman Pete Williams also expressed his concern.

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'The Pokémon Go revolution could take the illegal use of hand-held mobile phones at the wheel to another level.

'The game is an encouragement for people to get out and explore their locality, and beyond, in their search for Pokémon characters, but it is critical that drivers are not tempted to have the app running on their mobile phones when driving.'

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As well as warning motorists of the dangers of driving while playing the game, Mr Williams said that pedestrians should not get too wrapped up in the virtual world and forget to watch for the real dangers.

'It has to be 'Pokémon no-go' when driving but it is just as important that pedestrians don't get caught in the Pokémon mist and find themselves stepping into the path of danger.

'The risks are obvious, but this feels like a whole new level of gaming addiction, and yet another reason for people to be glued to their smartphones instead of looking where they are going.'

Have you seen drivers playing Pokémon Go or pedestians putting themselves in danger while on their phones? Email motoring@archant.co.uk

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