“Lo and behold, it turned out that the driver was playing Pokemon Go”

Last month, many Canadians got caught up in one particular craze: Pokemon Go. For the most part, people have been playing this cell phone-based game without incident (with a few head-shaking exceptions, of course).

But yesterday, the York Regional Police shared footage of a driver captured by a police helicopter in the middle of the night. The vehicle is seen to be driving erratically, slowing down to a crawl then speeding up, driving in circles, and just generally behaving unpredictably. Police were concerned that the driver might be impaired or planning a break and enter.

However, when they stopped the vehicle, they discovered the driver was playing Pokemon Go. (Oddly, the driver was issued a warning, not a ticket, for his traffic violation).  See the footage and the police remarks below:

Fortunately, no one was hurt because of this driver’s illegal and careless behaviour. Distracted driving remains a huge problem in Ontario, with 2013 data showing one person being injured every half hour in a distraction-related collision.

What should you do if you see a driver who looks like they might be impaired or distracted? First, only call 911 if it is a true emergency situation where it appears as though the driver could cause a crash and injury to others. Otherwise, contact the OPP’s non-emergency toll-free number at 1 888 310-1122 — after pulling over to make the call, or making the call hands-free and responsibly.

Courtesy of Wheels.ca, here are ten signs of a suspected impaired driver – most of them apply to distracted driving as well:

10 Signs of a suspected impaired driver

  • Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed
  • Drifting in and out of lanes
  • Tailgating and changing lanes frequently
  • Making exceptionally wide turns
  • Changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance
  • Overshooting or stopping well before stop signs or stoplights
  • Disregarding signals and lights
  • Approaching signals or leaving intersections too quickly or slowly
  • Driving without headlights on, failing to lower high beams or leaving turn signals on
  • Driving with windows open in cold or inclement weather