Pokémon GO

As predicted, Malaysia has practically been swept up by the Pokemon GO craze since the app was released in the country on Saturday morning. Realising that many will be tempted to play the game – which encourages users to walk around to catch Pokemon – while driving, the transport ministry has urged motorists to pay attention to the road instead of their phones, The Star reports.

Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said that he was worried road users could get into accidents if they were concentrating too hard on the game, adding that they were not just responsible for their own safety on the road, but those of others as well.

“Please do not play Pokemon GO while you are driving. Unless you are a passenger, it is very dangerous for you to do so,” he told the English-language daily. “It is against the law to use a mobile phone while driving; whether to hunt for Pokemon, text or talk.”

Liow’s message echoes that of the ministry, which launched the Focus on the Road, Not on the Hand campaign earlier this year to raise awareness of the dangers of mobile phone distraction while driving.

Road users are already receiving traffic summonses for playing Pokemon GO while driving, with Sin Chew Daily reporting of a 32-year-old man that was pulled over and fined RM300 by police in Kuantan, after he was driving around with his friends to hunt for Pokemon that Saturday itself.

“I switched on the apps to detect the hotspots as I drove around. The catches were good. The policeman smiled when he saw the screen of my phone and then gave me a summons,” he said.