For the Antigo Times
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) State Patrol warns motorists not to let the Pokémon craze drive them crazy. The mobile gaming app lets players catch Pokémon in real life and in real time using a phone’s GPS and augmented reality settings. However, this creates real-world hazards for users. Wisconsin State Patrol is reporting drivers distracted by the popular new gaming app. Wisconsin alone has already experienced two Pokémon GO-related crashes. Simply, distracted driving is dangerous driving.
“The dangers of distracted driving, also known as inattentive driving, are not exaggerated and are a growing threat to everyone on the road,” says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Last year in Wisconsin, 94 people were killed in crashes in which at least one driver was listed as driving inattentively. In addition, 10,615 people were injured in distracted driving crashes in 2015.”
WisDOT has been working on a number of initiatives to combat distracted driving, including new TV, radio and online productions that highlight how distracted driving is entirely preventable. The video messages, featuring a new super-villain known as the “Distractor,” are available on WisDOT’s YouTube channel. WisDOT has also allocated federal funding to support anti-distracted driving efforts of law enforcement task forces in select counties, and WisDOT will continue to display messages warning about the dangers of distracted driving on electronic signs on major highways across Wisconsin.
Wisconsin State Patrol tells Pokémon players to be aware of their surroundings, and challenges them to consider safety over a high score. If you must travel longer distances to catch the rarest Pokémon, designate a driver or check out free ride services in your area. Take safety to the next level, and join Wisconsin in keeping Pokémon out of the driver’s seat.