A man who crashed his car into a tree in Auburn late Tuesday night admitted he was “actively playing the Pokemon Go game while driving causing him to become distracted and run off the roadway into a tree,” according to the Auburn Police Department.
Police say officers responded to the scene in the area of 144 Owasco Street in the Central New York city of Auburn, about an hour north of Ithaca, at about 10:44pm on Tuesday.
“Luckily the driver was not seriously injured,” says Auburn Chief of Police Shawn I. Butler, “but this is an example of how easily accidents can occur when someone is engaged in the game and not paying attention.”
Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick has been spotted around town playing the popular new game for mobile phones, but of course Mayor Myrick doesn’t drive while playing. He takes the bus around Ithaca!
“Do not use the application when you are operating a motor vehicle or bicycle,” Chief Butler said in a statement on Wednesday. “Be aware of your surroundings when walking and do not stare down at your phone not knowing hazards around you, like roadways, drop-offs, waterways, etc.”
Auburn Police also reminded Pokemon Go players not to trespass on private property while chasing characters in the game, and to “travel in groups in public, well-lit locations.”