Cellphones + Walking: The Hazards of Pokemon Go
We have previously written about the dangers of texting and driving and how high the fines have gotten, but Toronto councillors have gone one step further and introduced an amendment asking the provincial government to outlaw texting while walking. The formal wording is to ban “actively using a handheld wireless communication device or handheld electronic entertainment device while on any travelled portion of a roadway.” They pointed to the fact that 20 percent of pedestrian deaths were attributed to pedestrian distractions, including using a cell phones and walking a dog.
This comes at an interesting time, given the recent release in Canada of the popular game Pokemon Go, which has people of all ages out and about on the augmented reality game, similar to geo-caching. In the US, where the game has been out for longer, the National Post reports there have already been injuries from distracted players, including landing in holes and tripping over doorstops. Alarmingly, CBC reports that the app, which does not account for traffic, is causing pedestrians to ignore safety hazards, such as moving vehicles.
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