"HEY. Turn the camera off NOW!"


Well-known member
Oops, sorry.

Let's see if this works.....read at your own peril.

Raycom News Operations Safety Update
By November 24th of 2008, a new OSHA regulation impacting reporters and photographers will become effective. ALL media representatives covering incidents along all major highways and roadways will need to wear an ANSI 107 Class 2 Reflective Safety Vest (see insert). To meet the standard, the vest requires at least 775 square inches of background fluorescent material. These vests are relatively inexpensive and generally are available for under $20. They can be purchased from various vendors including www.safetyvests.com, www.uline.com and www.galls.com. Various options exist and should be selected based upon your station needs. Just be sure that it is stated on a tag on the vest that it meets the ANSI Class 2 requirements.

The following summarizes what actions are required under the new regulation and includes reminders for safe news vehicle operations.
Safety Equipment in Company Vehicles
At least two ANSI Class 2 OSHA compliant safety vests should be carried in news vehicles at all times. Reporters, Photographers and Live Truck Operators are required to wear them when working near expressways, freeways and heavy traffic roadways. Mandatory compliance with this OSHA regulation is required by November 24, 2008, and traffic citations may be issued by law enforcement personnel if safety vests are not worn while working outside of the vehicle. The employee may be responsible for payment of these fines, as determined by management, if the employee does not comply.
It is also always desirable to have a Basic First Aid Kit, a Fire Extinguisher capable of extinguishing A, B and C type fire, road flares or reflective triangles and or a flashing yellow caution light as a basic set of safety equipment in any vehicle.

Parking of Company Vehicles on Expressways/Freeways
Live trucks and company vehicles should never be parked on or directly beside expressways, freeways and heavy traffic roadways, or on overpasses without prior approval of law enforcement personnel and then only when the vehicle is well off the road and well away from any possible road associated danger.
If you are working at the scene of a vehicular accident, always park your vehicle within the perimeter of the emergency vehicles and well away from the roadside. In this particular case make sure you coordinate the vehicle’s parked location with the law enforcement officer in charge.
Shooting an incident in a heavy traffic area
Never cross a busy roadway on foot to get a shot. Always make sure you and the person who is with you has on the required safety vest. Always be aware of your surroundings, watch out for traffic. When shooting beside the road, make sure someone perhaps law enforcement or emergency personnel is with you to aid in your peripheral vision. Many photographers and reporters have been injured when blindsided by oncoming traffic.
Lighting of Live Shots Near Heavy Traffic Areas
Never point your lights directly into oncoming traffic. This may be a ticketed offense in some states. Use barn doors, soft box or diffusers to soften the possibility of pointing blinding light at oncoming traffic. Lights can also be angled away from the roadside.
General Live Truck Operation
In addition to Company and Station policies in this regard posted here in the News section of our Intranet Site, please keep in mind the following reminders.
- During an electrical storm, NO live shot is safe. Not even with the mast down.
- Crews in the field have the primary responsibility to determine if a live shot is safe. If there is a difference of opinion with the station or others in this regard, news management should be consulted immediately.
Working in Crowds
If a crew feels a physical threat to their personal safety, they must use their best judgment as to continuing or terminating the shoot. They should immediately notify the station of these circumstances as well as their intentions.
Aircraft Safety
The pilot always has the primary responsibility to determine safe operating conditions. If there is disagreement in this regard, news management should be immediately consulted before flight operations begin. Every Photographer/Reporter should be given safety procedures to follow while on the ground and in the air by the Pilot in Command of the aircraft. Any employee who does not wish to fly should notify news management if they are not comfortable in doing so.
If possible a position of the aircraft should be relayed to the assignment desk at a minimum of fifteen minute intervals. Radio contact at the point of takeoff and another at landing is required and if two-way communication is not possible, station management should be notified before take off. Any safety concerns involving the aircraft, flying or the pilot should be brought to the immediate attention of news management.
Additional Items to Consider:
• If a vehicle breaks down locally or out of town, work with station management to determine where to repair the vehicle. If a crew is out of town and the vehicle breaks down you might consider using this website to find information about repair shops and mobile tire repair. www.truckdown.com.
• As an alternative to the Metro Maps equipped in many vehicles, mobile G.P.S. units are something to consider for ENG & Sat trucks. They are becoming less expensive and can save time in transit.

Special thanks to Raycom News Operations Safety Taskforce members for helping to compile this information:
Ryan Vetter-WTOL
Robert Chandler-WAFB
Clint Moore-WMC
Kim Fatica-WOIO


Active member
Since told to do so by my N.D. i have had several reporters ask me if they have to wear the vest, to which i say YES IT IS LAW. They put up a fight, but i in the end they do it. They say they look silly wearing it. And yes, they might, but it is the law.


Well-known member
It is the law, and I believe it's the law for law enforcement officers as well. Still seeing a lot of them working scenes without the vest, but, who's gonna cite them, right?


Active member
That true. many troopers fail to wear them. But at least here in my area they wont say much if you dont have yours on either. or at least thats what i have run into so far. But i still wear mine.
Once had a state trooper run me off of an accident scene. No victims left, just cars, and his hatred of the press. He put me behind a fire truck (100 feet away) yet left the bystanders in place. His exact words? "Because they don't have a damn camera."

The adjacent property owner, who had also walked out to watch it, and he even ordered me off her land. Even brought over two city cops and told me I had two choices, go behind the fire truck, or go to jail. Not wanting to spend all day Sunday in jail, I went behind the fire truck.

He then had the city cop come put up ONE piece of yellow tape, blocking me. So I got a shot showing the scene tape, the wreck beyond it, and the bystanders surrounding it, which, by that time, included a guy in a bathrobe and some woman with her kids.

Not wanting to give him a chance to say, "I woulda let him up but he left," I stayed right there until the last tow truck left, then left myself.

Next morning at 9am, my boss was on the phone with his post commander, who actually tried (for a minute) to take his side. A quick phone call to GSP headquarters in Atlanta, and we got apologies, and a promise that this would never happen again, within 10 minutes.

I know, I could have made more of a stink, probably even have gone to jail and sued them, but I work around these guys every day, and just decided that it wasn't worth it, as long as he learned what not to do, which he did.


every cop is different and that can go from day to day or within a scene...i work 3rd shift so i do a ton of accidents on the highways and honestly, within on accident scene i go these repsonses "yeah, go right, whatever you need" "i don't care what you do" "who the hell do you think you are, get the hell out of here" "relax, he's fine, come on up, what do you need?" it just varies...and with the State Police in my state it varies by troop, one troop told me i had no right to park on the highway (at a non fatal m'cycle ax), followed by a fatal with ejection where a trooper told me i was fine, walked me by the body and said "just don't step on the body"...it's maddening, but it's part of the job..and i agree and this is good advice to newbies, know what to fight for and what not to fight for...the other 2 stations in town, when we show up we explain that we'll stay out of their way, we only want about 5 minutes of their time and we 90% of the time, get what we need...be kind, don't throw a **** fit, it won't do you any good

Ben Longden

Well-known member
when we show up we explain that we'll stay out of their way, we only want about 5 minutes of their time and we 90% of the time, get what we need...be kind, don't throw a **** fit, it won't do you any good
Well said!

I filmed the aftermath of a fatal water ski accident (skier v tree) from the riverbank. A house owner (turns out is a local crim) complained to the cops I was on his property, and so the plods came over. I just said I was on public land, as the home owner can only own to the high water mark. I was true and correct in that assumption, and while plod went off to the frenzied crim, I got the money shots. When he came back, I just thanked him for his time, shook his hand and went on my merry way.

I then drove across the river, which is across the state line, and did some shots from there, and the crim was still upset... but I was also interstate... :)

The bureau ran it as their lead story that night....
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Brock Samson

Well-known member
Having grown up in a town with dirty cops who would do things like break your tail-light and then give you a ticket for it, it's one of the most difficult things in the world to put up with some of the stuff that they (some of them, that is) do at scenes, but sometimes you just need to take a breath and try to be nice. Life is so much easier for everyone when we get along with them and they get along with us.

And no, don't give them your tape OR your camera. I'll go to jail over that any day.

Ben Longden

Well-known member
I know a former Northern Territory cop whose nickname is FIGJAM, for obvious reasons who once bragged how he was going to confiscate a camera... I asked him the inevitable question, did he arrest the camera operator .. and what was he going to do with the tape. and WHY?

He mentioned he wanted to confiscate the tape so he could play it back at the station to see if there was anything he could use in his investigation.

He abandoned these plans once he was made aware that the nearest (digi beta) tape deck was 500km away in Darwin. :rolleyes: I asked him had he considered ASKING the station for a copy of the vision? The answer was no..

Turns out he was just doing things to BE an A-Hole. No he didnt arrest the camera operator because he had not broken any law, neither did he confiscate the camera, because he was not allowed to by law... and he was being filmed at the time.

Seems he has quite a few employers on his CV....:eek:



had one last night...MVA into a pole, fully involved, 1 party deceased...road blocked at one end, very friendly cop, went to the other side of the scene (since when has "road closed" meant we don't try for the other half of the scene??), plenty of access, cruiser (no cop in it), NO TAPE, nothing...myself and a competing station walk up, stand in full view of all law enforcement, tastefully shoot the scene, no closeups (body still in the vehicle), grab a few minutes of tape, a state trooper chats us up, makes some small talk, then the local Sargent comes over and delivers the "i order you to stop shooting..put your cameras down, you can shoot later, but you are not to shoot any video until i tell you it's ok"...blah blah blah..a little ass kiss, a few yes sirs, i understand sir, we never use the body body, yada yada yada, we leave...amazing...just put up tape if you want to close the scene...it's not very hard
SOP I have used for YEARS is to ALWAYS leave my front tally light on. This allows me to go "covert" or appear "off-air" by simply switching it off, while continuing to record. When they get so used to seeing it lit, they assume it is a standard function of the camera, like breathing is a standard function of a living human. Just don't hold your breath too long around a Grizzly Bear or you may suffocate. :)

Paul Anderegg