Although there have been reports of the Pokemon Go app prompting individuals who suffer from anxiety and agoraphobia to go out into the world, officials at an Alabama electric company are urging players to be aware of their surroundings.
In Southern Alabama, the Baldwin Electric Membership Cooperative warns Pokemon trainers to be wary and steer clear of power lines, transformers, and substations when playing the game.
While the company hasn’t received any calls or complaints about players visiting substations in an attempt to catch rare Pokemon, Baldwin EMC spokesperson Mark Ingram is being proactive in warning players of the potential dangers they may face.
“Just for their safety we wanted to let the public know they should not play the game at any substations or power lines,” said Ingram.
While Ingram worries about Pokemon, car owners in Alabama are finding new things to smile about.
The Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition has recently discovered a growing trend in Alabama and across the nation: people are getting rid of gas guzzlers and taking advantage of the benefits that come with driving electric vehicles.
In the past, many people were deterred from electric vehicles because the battery price tag was extremely high. Now, however, the price tag on batteries has seen a decrease of 71% and the cumulative sales of plug-in vehicles have risen to over 450,000 across the country.
It seems that people want their cars to be just as up-to-date as their smartphone and computer technology. Similar to upgrading to the 25,000 hours more that an LED bulb offers, they view electric cars as a technological upgrade.
“I kind of look at (my car) like my iPhone. The smartphones get better with every update. Tesla is getting better with every update,” said Alabama resident Paul Franks. “The problem is that you can only go so far with software updates before you have to do a hardware update.” They are going to need more sensors and cameras when they come out with the total self-driving model. By leasing, I can turn this one in and upgrade to a newer model with the latest hardware and let Tesla deal with the resale.”
Some power companies are even offering a discount to individuals who drive electric vehicles. However, that doesn’t stop them from worrying about Pokemon players.
The Baldwin EMC encourages users to exercise extreme caution when playing since the electric companies can’t control where the Pokemon spawn.
“It’s a game and people are playing it,” Ingram said, “but if it’s around a substation that’s why we have a fence around it.”