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Dublin: 4°C Thursday 21 October 2021

Pokemon trainers are being told to stop trying to catch 'em all while driving

This is the world in 2016.

Drowzee dropped by the office. And was promptly put in a pokeball and transferred to the Professor.
Drowzee dropped by the office. And was promptly put in a pokeball and transferred to the Professor.
Image: Paul Hosford

IT’S 2016 AND Pokemon is back on top of the world.

But would-be Ash Ketchums are being warned to turn their Pokemon Go off when they get behind the wheel.

The app now has more users than Twitter and is massively popular in Ireland – despite the fact that it was only officially released in Ireland today. The game uses augmented reality (AR) and places different pokemon around a map of wherever the user is based.

It also makes users walk a certain distance to hatch eggs.

Because you need the app open in order to be alerted to the presence of the monsters, some have taken to leaving the app open and trying to catch them while they drive.

Which, and nobody should need to be told this, is a terrible, terrible idea.

Noel Gibbons, the road safety officer with Mayo County Council said the risks just aren’t worth it.

“What is meant to be a fun game can have tragic real-world consequences if you’re playing it while driving or crossing the street, you need to focus on your task 100% if driving or crossing the street.”

Gibbons points out that using a phone while driving is not only only dangerous, it could land you with a €2,000 fine and penalty points.


A spokesperson for the AA echoed that statement, saying that it was “worrying” anyone would play a game while driving.

“Our advice is to use common sense, don’t throw caution to the wind and pelt across a busy road because by doing so you’re endangering your life and the lives of others.

“As for driving whilst using the app, it is seriously worrying to think that people are still taking risks despite the fact that everyone with an ounce of sense knows the dangers.

Is catching Bulbasaur worth a potential court appearance and perhaps a fine of up to €1,000?

In England, Greater Manchester Police have warned parents to be aware of their children playing near roads or leaving beacons down which signal their location.

Read: A US holocaust museum is asking Pokémon Go players to keep away

Read: What the heck is Pokémon Go – and why is it so popular?

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