Can I Play Pokémon Go While Driving?

I’m sure you know that the answer is “no” but I’m sure that there are drivers out there doing it.  To play the red-hot app, you need to use an electronic device.  New York law prohibits using an electronic device while driving an in-motion vehicle.  A violation of this statute carries 5 points and roughly a $200 fine.

Devices on which you can play Pokémon Go are considered “electronic devices”.  An “electronic devices” is includes any “handheld device with mobile data access” as well as any “portable computing device”.  Clearly, this includes an iPhone or Android.

Further, the activities involved with Pokémon Go such as catching Pokémon and battling for gyms all required you to “use” your device.  “Using” means, in relevant part, holding a portable electronic device while viewing, playing games, and retrieving electronic data, all of which are done while playing this game.  While the app will not let you do much while moving more than 5 to 15 mph, it still displays gym and Poké Stop locations while moving fast and certainly provides a distraction.  Therefore, we strongly urge you to refrain from driving while playing this game for your safety and others.

In fact, one of the opening screens of the game caution users to be alert at times, and the 19th Precinct posted the above playful tweet to specifically warn Pokémon Go players of this very hazard.  #CatchEmAllSafely


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