No, no! It’s “Gotta catch ‘em all,” not “crash ‘em all!”

As someone who occasionally gets paid to shake hands with video game characters and drink beer, I realize I’m sort of spoiled as far as enjoyable jobs go. So I’m not totally unsympathetic to how the brain might become starved for relaxation or entertainment in more monotonous lines of work.

That said, public transportation workers are generally expected to maintain a certain level of focus, so when the man at the helm of one of Japan’s high-speed Shinkansen was spotted putting his feet up on the train’s control panel, it didn’t sit well with a lot of people. And you know what’s also frowned upon? Playing Pokémon GO while driving a bus, like this guy did.

The video, shot in late October, shows a 41-year-old driver for Ryobi Holdings, which operates sightseeing busses in the Osaka area. The vehicle’s large-diameter steering wheel means that he can peer through the spokes and see his smartphone, propped up between the speedometer and tachometer gauges.

But hey, maybe he’s simply got the phone running so that he can take advantage of the game’s buddy system, which rewards you with in-game items for traveling set distances, even without making any game inputs?


Nope, he’s actively playing the game. Granted, the video doesn’t show him trying to catch any Pokémon, but he can be seen tapping and swiping multiple Pokéstops to gather Poké Balls and other equipment, all while the bus makes its way down the road at a speed of roughly 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour.

Now, I suppose one could make the argument that the driver is able to pay proper attention to the road even as he plays the game. The obvious counter-argument, though, is that he apparently was so zoned in to what was happening on his phone’s screen, and thus unaware of his surroundings, that he didn’t realize one of the passengers was filming him doing something that would definitely get him in trouble with his bosses.

The clip eventually found its way to YouTube, at which point Ryobi Holdings became aware of it and launched an internal investigation culminating with the driver admitting to playing the game while on duty, despite company regulations that prohibit employees from using a smartphone while sitting in the driver’s seat. Management is currently discussing how to discipline the driver, and has issued a statement that “There is no excuse for this unbecoming conduct, and we will increase our efforts to prevent situations like this from arising in the future.”

Finally, while the video evidence no doubt made the investigation easier, should you find yourself, as a passenger, in this position, you might also want to consider telling the driver to get his eyes back on the road, right then and there.

Sources: Yahoo! News Japan, Otakomu
Images: YouTube/上沼ゆか