Playing Pokemon Go, a mobile reality game, the Saudi Motorists will be fined SAR 300 while driving, the country’s traffic department said.
“Playing Pokemon GO will distract the driver who may hurt himself, other motorists and pedestrians,” Authorities warned.
While no such fines have yet been handed out, other Saudi security agencies have also been given permission to authorise tickets for the violation, according to director general of the Eastern Province Traffic Department, Maj. Gen. Abdullah Al-Zahrani.
The Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has also warned users that the game exposes their geographical locations.Several other countries in the Gulf like Kuwait and UAE have also warned users against playing the game, which uses technology including GPS and augmented reality.
Pokemon Go is the one which has got fame and become popular since its launch two weeks ago and uses satellite locations and digital graphics to showcase cartoon characters in real-life settings. It challenges players to capture the creatures and train them for virtual reality battles.
The game has been blamed for several traffic accidents across the world, with a driver on Monday in Baltimore, US, reportedly crashed into a police car while playing the game.
Saudi Arabia has issued a fatwa against the game and labelled it ‘forbidden’ in Islam for its use of non-Islamic symbols such as crosses and Freemasons’ triangle signs.
Therefore Pokemon Go has not yet to officially become available in the Gulf Cooperation Council, but users have found ways to download it from third party sources.