Pokemon Go has been taking over the world, and many Montrealers are avidly playing the game, but it’s become so addictive that some have forgotten about the rules of city.
Last weekend, Montreal police were out ticketing players gathered at Cabot Square.
When Jordan Greenberg walked into a huge crowd of Pokemon chasers last Saturday, he noticed that amidst the herd, officers were also handing out tickets.
“Only once they ticketed a few people, I saw them come back again and then started warning people.”
Montreal police handed out several infractions for jay-walking and parking illegally, saying they’re concerned about players’ safety.
“You’re there and you want to be the one capturing the most, so people tend to not following the regulations of the road, cross between cars, cross on red lights, which is preoccupying us,” said Andre Durocher, a spokesperson for Montreal police.
“If people start getting hit, then what’s going to be next? So, I think we should always ask ourselves, no matter how thrilling it is, is it worth putting our lives at stake for this?”
On Monday afternoon, Cabot Square was once again full of players, some by car, unaware they were parked illegally.
“Oh, I guess we’re going to have to leave,” said Marwan Zahran.
“That’s really annoying, because all of them are parked here,” he added.
One car was parked in front of a fire hydrant and people were jay-walking, looking down at their phones.
Nevertheless, many players think the police presence is a bit much.
“They could be out getting bad people doing bad things instead of being here,” said Anthony Goffredo, one of the players lined up on the sidewalk.
“It’s kind of dangerous, I get it, but they shouldn’t have closed everything up,” said Alessandro Petrella, while talking about a private parking that was sealed up with tape.
“People just like, chill here, it’s not like they’re doing anything wrong, they’re finally out of the house.”
Petrella was at Cabot Square on Saturday and said there were “maybe like 50 cars, one of them even parked sideways in the middle of the street.”
Others, like Greenberg, say they would prefer a warning as a reminder to be careful.
“Just make sure that you know, I guess, respect the normal rules that apply to everyday life, same thing goes for Pokemon,” he said.