PETALING JAYA — Road users who are hooked on Pokemon Go have been advised to be aware and vigilant of their surroundings.
Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the public should not neglect safety at the expense of entertainment.
“Many people are engrossed while playing the game on their mobile phones and are not concerned about their surroundings, making them possible targets of snatch thefts,” he said.
There was a good chance of the crime rate increasing if the public disregarded their safety, he added.
“It is extremely worrying that people are more interested in catching monsters than keeping themselves safe from harm.”
Lee expressed concern over players who chose to play the game while driving as they were endangering their lives and other road users.
“I believe the police will increase their patrols to ensure people stop using their phones to text or play games while driving.”
Commenting on an accident that occurred in Sungai Petani on Friday at 2.30am in which two men, who were engrossed with their mobile phones in a Pokemmon night hunt, were knocked down by a passing car, Lee said accidents can happen and people should be more cautious when they attempt to multitask.
“Accidents can be avoided if we are mindful of our surroundings and do not take risks.”
He added that the authorities must implement and enforce stricter rules and regulations before the situation gets out of control.
Public Transport Users Association president Ajit Johl said the public should not compromise their safety by doing two things at the same time.
“People should know where to draw the line and not risk their lives for this ‘passing fad’,” he said.
Ajit said the idea of increasing fines for those who break traffic laws may seem appealing but it would be of little help if people do not realise the repercussions of playing the game while driving or crossing the street.
He said instead of driving while playing the game, players could take public transport to their desired destination and play it at their own time.
“By doing so, they can play this game with their friends and have a good time together. This game must not turn into an obsession,” he said.