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July 27, 2016

Please Don't Go after #Pokemon While Driving!

Drive_now_catch_pokemon_laterPokemon Go, released July 6, has captivated fans around the world to become the highest-grossing iphone app ever, claiming more than 21 million active U.S. users within the first two weeks of its launch.

Even though the smartphone gaming app is being lauded for motivating kids and families to exercise by getting them out of the house on their hunts for the animated characters, it's also drawing a lot of attention for the number of moving violations that are happening because of people playing while driving their car.

Already in the last few weeks, a woman playing Pokemon Go in a parking lot north of Toronto was nearly hit by a driver -- who was also playing the game while behind the wheel.

In Bangor, Maine, a Pokemon Go player was deliberately mown down by a driver while playing the app.

But, most notorious of all is the video footage captured on the body cam of a Baltimore police officer, that shows a Pokemon Go enthusiast slam into a police car while playing the game on his phone at the same time as he was driving his Toyota Rav4.

The goal of the game is to capture the animated Pokemon characters, which are displayed via augmented reality on the player's screen amid their actual surroundings.

Don't drive and go after Pokemon"Reports of close calls associated with playing Pokémon Go already are rolling in," reads a statement from the National Safety Council. "The Council urges gamers to consider safety over their scores before a life is lost...and implores drivers to refrain from playing the game behind the wheel."

According to the National Safety Council, Distraction is already 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; while distracted driving has killed thousands. Every single one of these injuries and deaths could have been prevented if only pedestrians and drivers stayed alert and prioritized the task at hand.

"Wait. Park. Then, Pokemon GO! Do NOT use mobile gaming apps while driving," the Tennessee Highway Safety Office wrote on its Facebook page.

Even the New York Police Department has advised players not to "drive or ride your bike, skateboard, or other device while interacting with the can't do both safety."

Be safe as you go after your Pokemon!!

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