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Japan police issue traffic citations to Pokemon Go players

Police are warning players of Pokemon Go to not play and drive
Police are warning players of Pokemon Go to not play and drive

SAGA (TR) – Following the release of the popular smartphone game Pokemon Go, law enforcement in two prefectures have issued their first citations to players for traffic violations, reports NHK (July 24).

On Saturday at 3:00 p.m., Okayama Prefectural Police cited a 34-year-old man for viewing his smartphone screen while driving his station wagon on National Highway 430 in Kurashiki City. The man, who was accused of violating the Road Traffic Law, told police that he was playing Pokemon Go.

On Sunday, police cited two female players, aged 30 and 22, for the same violation in Okayama City. On that same day, two men in their 20s were cited for playing the game while riding minibikes in Takeo City, Saga Prefecture.

Like in other countries, the game has taken Japan by storm since its release on Friday, with players seen staring at smartphone screens in parks and on streets nationwide. Police, however, are demanding that motorists not play and drive.

“Since it is very dangerous to operate a car or motorcycle while using a smartphone due to the extreme risk of an accident, we unconditionally want them to stop,” an officer is quoted.