Netizens have been commenting on the first fatal accident caused by Pokemon GO.
The app, which has rapidly become a global phenomenon, has been beleaguered by incidents involving users who are not paying attention to their surroundings. Now, despite warnings, a 72 year old woman in Tokushima Prefecture has been killed by a man who was playing the app while driving his car.
Netizens have no sympathy for the man, but point out that it is smartphone use in general, and not Pokemon GO itself, that caused the accident.
From Yahoo! Japan:
First Fatal Accident Caused By Pokemon GO, 39 Year Old Man Arrested For Running Over Women While Playing Game – Tokushima Police
At around 7:25pm on August 23, there was an accident in which two women were run over on a prefectural road in Katanokamicho, Tokushima City. The women were rushed to hospital where one later died and one was left with critical injuries.
the Tokushimahigashi division of the prefectural police arrested farmer Gou Keiji at the scene on suspicion of violating driving laws by causing injury through negligence while driving. According to police, Gou had been driving while using the smartphone application “Pokemon GO”, and Gou admits that he had “not been looking ahead”.
Police say that this is the first fatal traffic accident caused by someone playing Pokemon GO while driving.
The women who died at hospital from injuries to the cervical spine has been confirmed as beauticia Nakanishi Sawako (72) of Kitayamacho, Tokushima City, while part-time worker Inokawa Kayoko (60) also of Kitayamacho, Tokushima City, suffered serious injuries including broken ribs. When the two women were about to walk across the road, they were hit by Gou’s small wagon.
The accident happened on a straight one-lane street where there were no traffic signals. Gou was on his way home after finishing work, and at the time of the accident had apparently been driving at a speed of 50km per hour. Police are investigating the details of the incident, and may change the charge to one of causing death through careless driving.
Comments from Yahoo! Japan:
Didn’t he realise that it’s dangerous to play while driving?
I thought this would happen sooner or later, but I wish this kind of thing didn’t happen at all.
The family of the victim who died must be so angry.
This isn’t just a problem with Pokemon GO, I think there have been other fatal accidents caused by people using smartphones while doing something else before now.
Using a smartphone while driving is the same as drink driving. it should be on a par with “dangerous driving”.
A 39 year old playing a smartphone while driving…
A fully-grown man who doesn’t understand the difference between right and wrong.
My condolences to the person who died.
Using your phone while driving is forbidden, but the message is just not getting through.
I want this to be a crime that’s on the same level as drink-driving.
Isn’t it already illegal to fiddle with your smartphone while driving?
So he’s 39 and still can’t acknowledge that it’s dangerous to play with your phone while driving? And the fact that he was playing a game, I mean, from the perspective of the victim, what the fuck?!
So there are idiots who think it’s OK to mess with their phones while driving? They say stuff like:
“But I wasn’t talking on the phone”
“You can use it to navigate”
I wish they’d cracked down on using smartphones from the very beginning when they made it illegal.
Comments from 2ch.net:
So it’s already happened, huh?
This is the end.
Give him the death penalty.
All this when he’d already been warned.
Hey, look, I caught a Convict!
That is not something you should be playing while driving.
The cause of the accident is not Pokemon GO, it’s an idiot who cannot accept that it is dangerous to use a smartphone while driving.
He wasn’t just using a smartphone while walking, he actually killed someone by running them over because he was playing a smartphone while driving!?
GO to jail.
Dude! You just caught a prison sentence.
What kind of phone was he using? Go after the manufacturer too!