Police chief warns game players

Pokemon Go violators headed to the pokey?

Staff writer

Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke has had just about all he wants of the Pokemon Go game.

“We are having people violate all sorts of curfews and private property laws while playing the Pokemon game,” he said. “I have even had complaints from a couple of drivers who came close to hitting pedestrians as they stepped off the curb into coming traffic, looking at their phones.”

Burke said there have been complaints from residents near City Park who have heard and seen people in the park looking for the elusive make-believe characters long after the park is closed at 11 p.m.

There also have been reports of people inside Prairie Lawn Cemetery after hours.

“The cemetery is not public property,” he said. “And it is against cemetery board policy for people to be inside the cemetery after hours.”

“To my mind this is a public safety concern as well as a clear violation of city ordinances which are in place for a reason,” he said. “And this behavior is not limited to teen-agers. We have adults out breaking all kinds of rules to increase their score.”

Burke also said he and his officers have issued multiple warnings about J-turns on Walnut St.

“Drivers are not allowed to cross a double yellow line to park on the other side of the street,” he said. “We have been lenient about these recently, but we are going to start issuing tickets instead of warnings.”

The fine for a J-turn is $80 and court costs are $90.

“That’s a little pricey when you consider that it is only half a block to the U-turn at 1st St., where you can turn and head back up the street to that parking space,” he said.

People who use golf carts as an alternative means of transportation also are ignoring regulations that govern their operation.

“Anyone driving a golf cart must have a valid driver’s license. They must have a slow-moving vehicle sign on back and proof of insurance on board. The golf cart must also have headlights, tail lights, and a brake light if it is going to be driven at night.”

“There is a city ordinance that prohibits driving a golf cart on 9th Street,” he added. “That means from one end of 9th Street to the other. Golf carts can be driven across 9th St. at a right angle only.”

Burke said police officers will be more attuned to these violations and will be issuing tickets.

“We will be seeing violators in municipal court,” he said.

Last modified Aug. 11, 2016

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