Road signs aim to stop Pokémon Go driving people to distraction

By David Bonnici, 28 Jul 2016 Car Advice

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Pokeman road warning

Real concerns prompt Pokemon Go warning signs

ELECTRONIC road signs warning about the perils of driving while playing Pokemon Go have provided Melbourne drivers with some rare peak hour relief, but Victoria’s peak roads body says the warnings are serious.

VicRoads has “Don’t drive and Pokemon” warnings flashing on 39 variable messaging signs at prominent sites across the inner city including Wurundjeri Way; Hoddle Street; Alexandra Parade; Queens Way and freeways.

VicRoads Director Vehicle and Road Use Policy, Robyn Seymour said while she wasn’t aware of any specific local cases of drivers playing the game the organisation was aware of crashes overseas involving the use of the app.

She expressed concern that this was yet another way for drivers to become distracted by their mobile devices.

"We're aware that Pokemon Go has had lots of interest from the community and there's lots of people playing the game, which is great," she said. 

"But if you're playing the game around roads, then you have to be careful. And if you're a driver, then you can't play Pokemon Go. It's illegal to touch a phone [while driving].

Using a mobile phone while driving carries tough penalties in Victoria; if caught, drivers are docked four demerit points and receive a $466 fine.

Victoria Police have also issues warnings about Pokemon Go players on foot crossing streets without paying proper attention to passing traffic.

Such concerns were realised in Sydney when hundreds of Pokemon Go players caused traffic chaos after they converged on a Pokémon hot-spot at a park in the suburb of Rhodes.

Video footage showed drivers trying to drive through crowds of people spilling onto the roadway.

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