Truck driver playing Pokemon Go kills pedestrian

Addictive cell phone game kills one, wounds another in Japan as distracted truck driver runs over pedestrians.

David Rosenberg,

Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go

A truck driver in the Japanese city of Tokushima struck two women, one fatally, while playing the popular new Pokemon Go video game on his cellular phone Wednesday night.

The driver admitted that he was distracted by the game when he ran over the two pedestrians.

Police arrested the man for negligent driving, a Tokushima police spokesperson told Reuters.

“The driver is still in custody. No decision has been made yet on whether to proceed with a prosecution.”

Yesterday’s incident is the first recorded fatality in Japan related to the Pokemon Go craze, which has led to large numbers of accidents worldwide.

The game, which allows users to “hunt” for virtual animals with their phone in real-life locations, has led to millions of gamers roaming outdoors for the digital Pokemon. Since users attentively track their cell phone screens for the animals, however, they are often unaware of their actual surroundings; walking into busy streets or stumbling over pitfalls.

The developer of the game, Niantic Inc., said that in order to reduce the risk of car accidents, the program was designed to detect high speeds via the cell phone’s global positioning service. When a gamer is found to be travelling at speeds above a certain level, a pop-up requires the user to confirm that he or she is not driving.