MELBOURNE – A teenage motorist is facing criminal charges after crashing into
a school in Melbourne while playing Pokemon Go, China’s Xinhua news agency
Victoria Police said the 19-year-old young man was using the popular mobile
application Thursday night when he lost control of his car at a roundabout in
Berwick in southeastern Melbourne, crashing through a fence and into a portable
building of St Francis Xavier College.
Nobody was injured in the crash which took place outside of school hours and
the driver, who is still on his probationary license, was able to walk away from
Police say the driver is likely be charged with careless driving, the
maximum penalty for which is a US$1,400 fine for first offenders and the
potential loss of licence.
“Any Pokeballs, eggs or potions the driver may have had remaining only
attracted police,” Victoria Police spokeswoman Julie Anne-Newman told the
Guardian on Friday.
The Pokemon Go app, which has been downloaded more than 75 million times
worldwide in its first month, requires users to navigate the real world in
search of characters from the popular video game series.
The crash comes in the wake of Victoria’s roads and traffic authority,
VicRoads, installing 40 signs on popular roads across Melbourne warning of the
dangers of playing the game while behind the wheel.
“Taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds more than doubles your
crash risk. We just want to keep everyone safe on the road, so we’re asking them
not to do that,” VicRoads Road Use Policy Robyn Seymour told Melbourne radio
Victorian drivers caught playing the game while driving without causing an
incident will receive a US$350 fine.