Pokémon Go: Distracted Driver Crashes Into Police Car While Playing Game

Pokemon Go
A player's phone decorated with Pokémon stickers as he plays Pokémon Go, London, July 15. Syrian children are using pictures of Pokemon to call on the world for help. Olivia Harris/Getty

Pokémon Go is causing mayhem across the world with police forces from Bosnia to Wales providing guidelines on how to avoid injury.

The aim of the game is to walk around your neighborhood trying to find Pokémon characters by using a smartphone map, where images are placed over the "real world" on screen. People can then "catch" the Pokémon character and add them to their collection.

Police officers in Baltimore, Maryland, have released footage that they say captures the moment a driver distracted by Pokémon Go crashed into a patrol car. The police officer and the occupants of the Toyota SUV were uninjured in the crash, but police said the footage shows the dangers of driving while distracted.

In Bosnia, de-mining charity Posavina bez mina (Posavina Without Mines), issued a plea to gamers to pay attention to mine warning signs and only attempt to catch Pokémon in safe areas. Their fear is that players, whose eyes are resolutely glued to their smartphone screens, wander into mined areas and potentially trigger a deadly explosion.

North Wales Police said two individuals playing the game were caught wandering on a freeway on Monday. Children's charity NSPCC Wales said it was "deeply troubling" that many warning signals had been "ignored" by the app's owners.

Officers across the U.K. are issuing the following advice to gamers:

  • Don't make yourself vulnerable. Don't be tempted to take your phone out in busy or unlit areas where you could be a target for thieves
  • Concentrate on dangers around you and be careful when crossing the road—don't just focus on your device
  • Never play the game while driving
  • Don't trespass on private property.