July 1st, 2015 the Hands-Free Law was put into effect in New Hampshire. Texting was no longer permitted at even stop signs or when waiting in traffic. Horror story after horror story was being broadcasted all over the news about teens prioritizing texting over their own safety when in a moving vehicle. For this reason, the Hands-Free Law was created. A year after that law has been put into effect, there seems to be something else in our line of traffic: Pokemon.
Pokemon is a video game that was originally released on Game Boy back in the late 1990’s. The objective of the game is to collect as many Pokemon (i.e. pocket monsters), train them and battle other Pokemon as a way to become a Master. Since the release of the game, there’s been a handful of television shows and movies depicting this fictional world. So how did these Pokemon characters get into our streets?
PokemonGo is the answer. PokemonGo brings this fictional world to life. Gamers who grew up with the original Pokemon game on their Game Boy are now young adults, with their eyes glued to their smart phones, searching for Pokemon. The game has a tracking device that is able to display a map that mirrors where a player is actually standing. If you have the game on and you’re sitting at work, the game knows you are inside. Once you step outside, it will show the bits of road or river beds around you. Whether it’s at your desk or on your walk back to your car, these Pokemon can appear. The game will notify you when a Pokemon is near. When clicking on a Pokemon, the Pokemon will appear in real time and gives off the impression that it is merely inches way from you:
But what about when you’re notified a Pokemon is close by when you’re behind the wheel?
There’s been a number of campaigns shared to promote safe driving when playing PokemonGo. “No Pokemon and Driving,” “PokemonGo is a No-Go.” But shouldn’t this be common sense? This is just a video game right? There was never a campaign released about not playing Candy Crush, Clash Royale or Words with Friends in the car. This game has made texting and driving seem like it’s innocent. Police Officers don’t have time to worry about you sending that last text when there are children running out into traffic to catch Pokemon.
For the safety of everyone on the road or near the road, we hope PokemonGo players come to their senses. Hopefully one of the next updates for the game – since it’s still in the starting stages – is that it can detect if someone is in a car or near a busy street, and pause the game temporarily until the player is in a safe area. On top of these virtual handheld games, vehicle technology has come a long way too. Hyundai’s new Elantra has a pedestrian detection feature. We hope this will prevent less accidents when it comes to distracted pedestrians searching for Pokemon.
What are your thoughts on PokemonGo? Do you think technology has come too far and is interfering with our safety? Let us know. If you’re concerned about your teen’s safety, check out our inventory and we can provide the best & safest options for you and your family.