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Since the Pokemon Go mobile app was released on July 6, it has become a world-wide sensation. The game incorporates a cell phone’s location services and cameras in a way that players try to catch virtual Pokemon in real world locations. The app is so popular and users are so obsessed that the New York Department of Motor Vehicles issued a news release reminding New York drivers not to attempt to play the game while they are driving.

It is illegal to operate a portable electronic device while driving in New York. The law pretty much covers all types of cell phone use including playing games, texting, talking and taking pictures. There are limited exceptions in the event of an emergency.

Distracted driving has been a large focus of law enforcement officials in New York over the past few years. As a result, tickets issued for texting while behind the wheel increased by 840 percent over a five-year period. The penalties for such an offense can include fines and points against the driver’s license. Young drivers and repeat offenders may be subject to even harsher penalties.

One 28-year old man in upstate New York found that out the hard way, reports the New York Daily News. He crashed his car into a tree while playing Pokemon Go. While he was lucky that no other cars were involved, he most likely will still be issued a ticket for the accident. Accidents like these emphasize how important it is for driver’s to be focused on the road at all times.

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