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Eden Prairie police warn students to be safe in upcoming Nerf Wars game

The annual game has been to blame for at least one fatal crash in Minnesota.

Teenagers across the state are gearing up for an annual game of Nerf wars, and police are offering tips to keep them safe. 

The Eden Prairie Police Department (EPPD) on Thursday said they've learned juniors and seniors at Eden Prairie High School are planning to start a game of Nerf wars.

Because the game often leads to people making reckless decisions, EPPD is offering safety tips for those who plan to play.

They are:

  • Don't play the game near a moving vehicle, whether as a driver or passenger.
  • Use caution when playing on public property or in neighborhoods, and be respectful of others who are using public spaces.
  • Use brightly colored Nerf guns that are obviously not real firearms, and don't ever use replica guns in public places.
  • If you encounter police when in possession of a Nerf-type gun, put it down immediately and follow the officers' instructions.

The EPPD says it is committed to enforcing all laws and city ordinances. 

The game, which isn't sponsored by the school district, involves teams of people shooting each other with Nerf guns with the goal of eliminating competitors and earning points. 

It's been popular among students in districts across the state. And it'd be relatively harmless if it didn't often lead to players making reckless choices, EPPD said. 

People playing "often find themselves driving recklessly, forgetting to use seat belts, driving at dangerous speeds and disregarding traffic laws."

Not only that, but the game is to blame for a few tragedies in Minnesota over the years. In 2015, Lakeville South High School students John Price, 18, and Jacob Flynn, 17, were killed and two other teenagers were injured in a rollover crash, with officials noting they were playing Nerf wars. 

And in 2016, Armstrong High School students playing Nerf wars were involved in a high-speed chase when one driver crashed, injuring two bystanders

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