Lawmakers in California would like to see the existing ban on texting while driving to include playing Pokemon Go, among other things that could distract motor vehicle operators.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the state Assembly this week sent a new bill proposal to governor Jerry Brown outlining the measures. Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) said it’s time to expand the texting-ban law to get with the times.
The bill would ban using a handheld device in any way that distracts the driver. It’s an “important step in reducing distracted-driving accidents, injuries, and deaths,” Quirk said.
It does more, too:
“The bill also plugs a loophole that has made it difficult for law enforcement to enforce existing laws. In 2014, the California Court of Appeal ruled that the existing ban only prohibits a driver from holding a wireless telephone while talking on it, Quirk said,” according The Times.
Earlier this week, multiple fatalities were reported in Japan related to Pokemon Go, including one where a woman in her 20s was reportedly struck on her bicycle by a person playing the popular game.
Through in-game messaging, Pokemon Go itself warns players to be aware of their surroundings while playing the game. Pokemon Go encourages players to go out into the real world in search of Pokemon to catch, but playing behind the wheel is obviously a bad idea. A recent update introduced a prompt stressing that you should not play while driving a car.
Recently, two people walked off an oceanside cliff in California in search of Pokemon, while someone crashed their car into a tree after reportedly admitting to playing the game behind the wheel. Also, a man hit a parked police car because he was reportedly distracted by the game.