Keep Calm and Enjoy Pokémon Go Safely

Chances are, unless you were hiding on a desert island you know that Pokémon Go has swept the nation. There are many upsides to this trend as the augmented reality game gets people moving and interacting with each other. People feel encouraged to explore their world while they explore the virtual world.714pokemon-646733_1920

Safety Concerns Created Some By Pokémon Go Players

However, there are dangers. The obvious risk is that some enthusiastic players are looking at their phone screen while they walk, cycle or even drive! Police departments including the Bayview Police Station from the San Francisco Police department have issued official recommendations on how to enjoy Pokémon Go safely.

The Bayview Police advise players to:

  • Know your surroundings and pay attention to where you are going/who is around you. A  slow car paralleling a person on foot, might be a sign it’s a get-away car.    If you get the sense you are being followed or set-up for a robbery, head to a lighted area with people around. 714characters-696951_1280 
  • Watch where you are going, please don’t look down at your phone while crossing streets, getting off buses, or even while walking.  Obey traffic laws, please.
  • Do not run into trees, meters, and things that are attached to the sidewalk; they hurt.
  • Do not drive or ride your bike / skateboard / hipster techie device while interacting with the app.  
  • Know where your kids are going when playing with the app, set limits on where they can go, so they don’t keep going trying to get that Pokemon.   
  • Tell your kids about stranger-danger because the app may bring strangers together in real life at ‘pokestops’.   
  • Do not go onto private property, dark alleys, or areas that you usually would not go if you weren’t playing the game.  

(Source Captain Vaswani, Bayview Police Station,  San Francisco Police)

It isn’t just the Bayview Police that have issued warnings. Police departments, local Department of Motor Vehicles and numerous safety agencies issued similar warnings. The concern is that players are so engrossed in the game that they do not pay enough attention to their surroundings. This increases the risk of accidents and theft. There already are reports of increased incidents of trespassing and accidents around the country.714sign-1438603_1920

According to the National Safety Council:  “Distraction is a well-documented threat to safety, both on foot and on our roads. Distracted walking has contributed to more than 11,000 injuries in the last decade; distracted driving has killed thousands. Every single injury and death could have been prevented if pedestrians and drivers stayed alert and prioritized the task at hand.”

Have you played  Pokémon Go? Have you witnessed players putting themselves or others at risk? How do you feel about the  Pokémon Go trend?

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