S. Korean police declare war on drivers playing Pokemon Go

By Park Sae-jin Posted : February 8, 2017, 14:15 Updated : February 8, 2017, 14:15

[Aju News DB]

A police officer has pulled over a car driving in zigzags, thinking the driver must be drunk, but she was found to be busy playing Pokemon Go. The case reported last Saturday highlighted the danger of playing a mobile game on the move.

Pokemon Go, an augmented reality (AR) mobile game, has become a new traffic threat since its release three weeks ago. According to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, five drivers playing the mobile game at the wheel were reported during the first week of February.

The Pokemon-themed game has brought a syndrome in South Korea. It is designed to encourage players to move around on foot and catch monsters but some cheat, using vehicles to move fast from a Pokemon-appearing spot to another so that they can catch more.

To prevent possible accidents caused by Pokemon GO-playing drivers, police launched a nationwide crackdown.

"We are carrying out concentrated patrols in areas of a massive floating population to crack down on people playing Pokemon while driving," a Seoul police agency official told Aju News Wednesday.

Police have sent letters to primary schools, asking students not to play Pokemon on the go, she said. "When playing games such as Pokemon GO on foot, it is easy to lose awareness of traffic and surrounding environments. We advise teachers and parents to alert young students."

Yet, no deadly traffic accidents involving the mobile game have been reported in South Korea. A truck driver immersed in playing Pokemon GO ran over a primary school student in October last year in Japan. 
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