Japanese cops are handing out hundreds of traffic tickets to ‘Pokémon Go’ players

niantic support buddy pokemon and wearable go driving
Keongdagreat/123RF
The creatures at the heart of the most successful mobile game ever were born in Japan, so it’s no surprise gamers there wasted little time in signing up to the craze that is Pokémon Go.

Trouble is, some of the game’s fans clearly can’t resist looking out for new Pokémon while driving along, a situation that’s resulted in cops handing out hundreds of traffic tickets in the two weeks since the game launched there.

The Japanese authorities said this week that more than 700 traffic offenses have so far been committed in connection with the hugely popular smartphone game in which players travel the real world in the hunt for digital pocket monsters.

Between Pokémon Go‘s July 22 launch and Tuesday this week, the police have ticketed a total of 727 individuals caught playing the game while operating a vehicle, motorcycle, or bicycle, according to Tokyo Reporter (via Sankei Shimbun).

Fifteen accidents were reportedly caused by players distracted by the game while operating a vehicle, though details of the incidents weren’t given. In around 20 cases, property damage was caused by cyclists playing Pokémon Go while riding along, the report said.

Of course, it’s not only in Japan where things have been going awry for those obsessed with the game. Just last week, an Australian driver in Melbourne hit the headlines when he crashed his car into a school while playing the augmented-reality game. Before that, a Baltimore man admitted he’d been playing it when he drove into, of all things, a cop car.

Ridesharing giant Uber is also well aware of the game’s potential to distract road users, prompting the company to warn its fleet of drivers to keep an eye out for other drivers playing the game, as well as Pokémon Go pedestrians ambling distractedly into the road.

A recent update to Pokémon Go has apparently made it more difficult to play effectively while driving. It involves a reduction in the game’s scan refresh rate, as well as a further limit in the scan radius. The changes should mean that someone moving at speed, such as a car driver, will find it harder to spot nearby Pokémon Go gameplay opportunities. Those continuing to play the game at an altogether more leisurely pace – i.e. on foot – are unlikely to notice anything different.

Download for iOS Download for Android

Movies & TV

The best movies streaming on Hulu right now (August 2019)

From dramas to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Mobile

Looking for love or just some fun? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Mobile

Best alternatives to Google’s preinstalled Android apps

Want to get away from Google's preinstalled Android apps, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, and Maps? These are the best alternatives to the apps that come with your phone, which are pretty great, but not for everybody.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited to a different occasion.
Gaming

Nvidia GeForce Now vs. Shadow: Which streaming service is right for you?

Nvidia GeForce Now and Shadow came out of the gate early in the race to conquer cloud gaming. GeForce Now is currently in beta, while Shadow is already available in most states. How do they stack up against each other?
Computing

Between Intel and AMD, these are the best gaming CPUs at every price

What are the best processors for gaming you can buy? You don't need to spend a fortune to get an amazing gaming CPU and now that AMD is competitive again, there are more choices than ever.
Gaming

Police warn Raleigh locals of military cosplay at Rainbow Six Siege tournament

This weekend's Rainbow Six Siege Major esports tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina, prompted the local police to give residents a heads-up about cosplayers, who could come to the convention center in fake military cosplay.
Gaming

Xbox One S vs. PlayStation 4 Slim: How do the revised consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Xbox's app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Gaming

From the very best to the worst, here are all the Pokémon games ranked

With Pokémon Sword and Shield en route to Nintendo Switch later this year, we decided to rank the first seven generations of Pokémon games from best to worst. Which generation made us want to catch 'em all the most?
Gaming

Nintendo is reportedly trading revised Switch console for older model for free

If you recently bought a Nintendo Switch, you may be eligible for a free exchange for a revised model with better battery life. The revised Nintendo Switch nearly doubles the battery life thanks to a new processor.
Gaming

Fortnite

Fortnite from Epic Games first arrived on PC as an early access game in 2017. Featuring a mode called Save the World, players could jump online with a group of friends to collect resources, build structures, and defend against waves of…
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for August 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.