With more than 30 million downloads and counting, there is no disputing that the Pokémon Go craze is sweeping the nation. However, given that cellphone users must stare at their phone screens while attempting to capture animated Pokémon characters, playing this addicting game can also be quite dangerous – especially for those behind the wheel. In fact, one driver recently collided with a police car as he was playing Pokémon Go, and police caught the whole thing on tape.
But, while playing Pokémon Go behind the wheel is never a good idea, is it actually illegal? In Austin, yes, it is against the law.
Understanding Austin’s cellphone ordinance
While Texas still doesn’t have a statewide ban on cellphone use for all drivers, many cities – including Austin – have passed their own cellphone restrictions.
Specifically, Austin’s cellphone law states that a driver may not use any portable electronic device, including smartphones, MP3 players, computers and gaming devices, while his or her vehicle is in motion. Not only does this mean drivers cannot text, but it also means they cannot play games, including Pokémon Go.
While it remains to be seen whether police will be able to stop drivers in Austin from playing Pokémon Go, what is quite certain is that these careless and distracted drivers put everyone else on the road at risk.
If a distracted driver has injured you or a loved one, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially since you may have injuries you are not aware of yet. You should also speak with a personal injury lawyer who understands what needs to be done to protect your rights.