Tripods setup in the road

Discussion in 'Advanced weather & chasing' started by Will Campbell, May 29, 2017.

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How would you proceed on the road?

Poll closed Jun 5, 2017.
  1. Stop and wait for the chaser to move his tripod so you can continue.

    41.7%
  2. Try to circumnavigate the tripod by leaving the road surface

    41.7%
  3. Run over the tripod, as most areas have laws against parking in, or placing items in roadway

    41.7%
  4. Try to take down info and report it to LEO

    25.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Will Campbell

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    Had my personal first "bad" experience with this down in OK this year. Small country road as the Waynoka, OK tornado is ongoing. Trying to re-position northeast and my eastward progress was halted by a chaser with his vehicle parked facing westbound and blocking the westbound "lane" and his tripod set up in the eastbound "lane" or the furthest south south part of the road surface.

    As I approach the goon is flagging me down to slow down as to not hit is precious little camera setup. Every ounce of me wanted to run that tripod over...I advised him (somehow mostly politely) to perhaps set up the tripod off the road surface as I squeezed through. It made me wonder how others would handle the situation in a blocked or partially blocked road situation with traffic and a tornadic storm traveling generally in your direction but not in any absolute immediate peril.
     
  2. Jeff Duda

    Jeff Duda Resident meteorological expert
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    That would piss me off to no end...I'd give that person a hell of a mouthful as I went by, but I wouldn't hit the equipment only because I wouldn't want to damage my own vehicle.

    I'm sorry you had to deal with this, Will. There are a lot of very inconsiderate people out there. Chasers/spotters are among them.
     
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  3. John Farley

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    This kind of stupidity is not limited to chasers. Last fall I was driving back down the road from Ski Santa Fe into town at the height of leaf-peeping season. Came around a curve and there was some clown with his tripod set up in the road taking foliage pictures. There was room to get around him, but he was asking to get hit, since because of the curve you could not see him until you were almost on him.
     
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  4. Joey Ketcham

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    I've never come across it, but my solution is very simple; if a tripod is setup in the middle of the road preventing me from proceeding, then it gets ran over. Not my problem. If you don't want your tripod and camera destroyed as I run over it, then perhaps don't setup it up in the path of moving vehicles.
     
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  5. Marc R. O'Leary

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    How about a 5th option...slowly drive by, reach out and "confiscate" said equipment? Optional: drop it off a mile down the road, perhaps in a ditch.
     
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  6. Dave C

    Dave C EF1

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    I setup in the road sometimes, but if so always with lots of room to see both directions and I scramble to get out of the road if a car/bike is coming. Roads are for travel, not loitering.

    That said, if someone is blocking the way, as long as I am not in immediate danger I would politely but sternly advise them they are blocking the road and being inconsiderate by doing so. The last thing I would do is try to run them or their equipment down and I find it disturbing how many people today react to everything wrong with a greater wrong.

    I do note there are a huge number of chasers who are constantly uptight and self important on the chase who are frequently tailgating, speeding everywhere, and won't slow for people properly pulled off to the side of roads, especially on dirt. It really doesn't cost much to have a cooler head out there.
     
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  7. Justin Hassie

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    #7 Justin Hassie, May 29, 2017
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  8. Joey Ketcham

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    The last part of what you said is spot on, and I agree; the roads are for traveling. At the same time, you said sometimes you do setup in the road. That is irresponsible and dangerous. The road is not yours, it's a public road. You should NEVER setup on the road regardless of how much, or how little of it you take up. The road isn't yours to use as you please, and doing so creates a hazard for other motorists while placing yourself in danger of being killed by other drivers who may be distracted and run right into you.

    In 20 years of storm chasing, I still don't understand why any chaser needs to do anything on the road aside from driving on it. 20 years, in 20 years of chasing you know how many times I've setup my camera on a road? NONE. You know how many times I've parked along a highway with no shoulder? NONE. So many inlet's into fields, so many dead end dirt roads to pull onto.. yet you guys want to setup your f'n tripods and crap in the middle of a highway. So reckless and dangerous, and 20 years of chasing and somehow I've managed to be amongst the few chasers who doesn't use public roadways to however I see fit, even if that means setting up my goddamn tripod in the middle of it. Irresponsible and stupid, even if you "use a little bit" of the road. But hey, that's okay, do as you please.. but I'll tell you this... when I'm traveling down the highway and your tripod with your precious camera is sitting in the middle of it, you can stay goodbye to your camera because I'm driving right over it.
     
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  9. JamesCaruso

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    Chasing in northeastern CO this past Friday 05/26/17, we turned off 36 onto a dirt road where a number of chasers had converged. Many were off in the field with their tripods, but three or four were standing in a line across the road, a couple with tripods. I didn't say anything because it was just a dirt road and there was plenty of room for us to pull off the road and park for our own view of the storm, but it was ridiculous, I don't know why they couldn't go into the field like everyone else.
     
  10. James Wilson

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    I have seen people with tripods in the middle of the road many times trying to get the shot looking down the road of either a lightning strike or tornado. Very selfish!

    Lately I have also seen large groups of people some in tour groups crossing the road in traffic. Very dangerous practice with chasing hordes around. It would have made sense to just park on that side of the street.
     
  11. Wesley Luginbyhl

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    I think what Dave was meaning by "setting up in the road sometimes" was probably the equalivilant to what I do sometimes. Mostly on chases were number of chasers is super low and it is not a busy road. Once I see a car coming within a mile I will move it. Not even comparable to the situation the OP described. While still a risk, it is so low it really isnt a problem if you stay aware of traffic. I did this on the June 13, 2016 storm. For close to 30 minutes I didnt see a single car and I stayed alert for traffic the entire time. Worth the risk.

    58f4109d3ee7a9f0639b583f50bcad79.jpg

    Sent from my VS986 using Stormtrack mobile app
     
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  12. Stan Rose

    Stan Rose EF4

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    sorry I'm late to the party, but yeah, what Wesley said, just use an ounce of common sense and courtesy. I set my tripod up in the middle of Highway 160 in SE CO last week, cause I wanted the center of the road in the center of the photo. But I wouldn't have done that but for the fact that a) there was maybe one car driving down that stretch of the highway in very remote Las Animas County every 10 minutes or so, and b) I had a clear line of site in both directions for a good 5+ miles, so unless someone was going 200 mph I had plenty of time to move the tripod! But yeah, there are certainly a large number of inconsiderate jerks out there... cochase-g.jpg
     
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  13. justinmacauley

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    Seems this individual lacked common sense. I am not sure why you would impede traffic and stand in the middle of the road with your tripod when you know that cars travel down the road. It's a danger not just to you, but also others as well.
     
  14. Dave C

    Dave C EF1

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    Indeed, I did mean setting up briefly to grab a quick shot. I might setup for a few seconds in the road with ~ 1 mile or so visibility in both directions so that I can move long before a car is ever near, for example the famous Monument Valley shot that everyone takes. Most often if I am in the roadway briefly on dirt, I will be in front or behind my vehicle which is pulled as far as possible to the side as in the image below. You can't always pull all the way off a dirt road. On pavement, in my opinion people should pull completely off the roadway, without exception, with driver side mirror clear of the white line or better. No one should ever impede traffic even momentarily for any non emergency reason.

    I still don't object to people grabbing a quick photo and getting out of the way. As Stan said, common sense. Even if I encounter someone who lacks it, I will re-emphasize that running someone or their equipment down is not likely to go well.

    _MG_7639_edited-2.jpg
     
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    #14 Dave C, Jun 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  15. Mitch Schelinder

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    I love the poll question. My natural inclination would be to run over that damn tripod. However part of that flying thought the air and hitting an innocent, responsible chaser would push that thought out of my mind. Taking that person's tag number and notifying authorities is probably the best choice, but as a police officer that call wouldn't get a high priority. I'm not saying it's not an important call, but if it's a severe weather event they'll have us responding to actual storm related incidents. In this age of distracted driving we're all at risk anytime we're on the road.
     
  16. TJKLECKNER

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    move over a bit more :) chaser.png
     

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