Windsor

Windsor Pokemon gamers say they play while driving

The phone app creates a virtual hunt by using GPS technology to read where the user is located and then plots out Pokemon characters to capture.

Distracted driving laws apply to anyone playing the game while driving, which could lead to a $490 fine

Pokemon Go online craze has gamers walking around Windsor parks on a virtual hunt. (Laura DaSilva/CBC)

Pokemon scavenger hunters are taking distracted driving to a whole new level.

Several gamers say they have travelled Windsor's city streets chasing the tiny digital monsters of Pokemon Go while driving.

The phone app creates a virtual hunt by using GPS technology to read where the user is located and then plots out Pokemon characters to capture.

People walking around the city, riding their bikes and driving vehicles are using the app, which has created several dangerous situations, say players sitting at Jackson Park on Wednesday.

Those gamers didn't want to reveal their identity to CBC News. Police say distracted driving laws apply to anyone playing the game while driving, which could lead to a $490 fine and three demerit points.

"People don't know what you're doing," said Const. Harbinder Gill, spokesman for LaSalle Police. "You're playing with a hand-held device, not looking where you're going and low and behold you're underneath somebody's car or you've hit somebody with your car."

Gamers say they have to drive slower than 20 km/h for the game to track their progress. But even at those slow speeds, the risk for danger is still there, explained Const. Dave Rektor of the OPP.

"A lot of people are becoming immersed with augmented reality apps and they're forgetting about their surroundings and that will be a recipe for disaster," he said.

Some gamers have seen people driving at crawling speeds because they think they can catch more Pokemon than if they are walking. Other people say they take a buddy with them, so they're not tempted to play the game while driving.

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