Belfast Telegraph

Man leaped onto busy road while engrossed in Pokemon Go game

By Rebecca Black

A man jumped in front of traffic on a busy main road while wrapped up in the mobile phone game Pokemon Go yesterday.

The incident took place on the A2 close to Holywood in north Co Down.

Pokemon Go is a game played on mobile phones in which players attempt to track down and capture virtual creatures that appear on the device's screen.

The man is believed to have been so engrossed in the game that he leaped out in front of traffic while playing.

A representatives for the local PSNI encouraged people to be careful with the app.

They wrote on Facebook: "This morning we had a reports of a male jumping out in front of traffic on the A2, Holywood.

"Can you guess why? I don't care how rare the Pokemon is, it's not worth your life."

The game has caused uproar in some parts of the world, with clerics in Saudi Arabia even issuing a fatwa against the app for failing to adhere to Islamic law.

In Guatemala, a teenager is believed to have become the first person to be killed while playing. Police in Baltimore in the US also released footage of a motorist hitting a car while using the app.

Elsewhere, reports of children playing the game in a cemetery led to a Redcar MP Anna Turley raising the issue with the company that part-owns the franchise, Nintendo.

The PSNI also issued its own advice. "The internet and the virtual world can be a great place to learn, and although games such as this can be fun, it is also important to be aware of the risks involved," a spokesman said.

"The game may be virtual in some respects, but you are playing it in the real world too and it is essential you keep safe."

The spokesman added that Pokemon Go players should always make sure they are aware of their surroundings, especially around roads, open water and in more secluded areas, and urged them to avoid playing while driving and be careful not to accidentally trespass.

"Younger players should always tell parents or carers where they are going," he explained. "It is also important that you do not compromise any personal information.

"It can be easy for cyber-criminals to access personal data which could lead to fraud or allow them to hack your phone with viruses and malware."

Belfast Telegraph