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 Storm chasing safety

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pulse1
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PostSubject: Storm chasing safety   Fri May 21, 2010 12:27 pm

With all it's adrenalin and curiosity aspect there's one thing that's particularly missing from those attempts to target the storm and that's safety. Lately there has been a spate of ridiculous driving techniques which seriously undermine and degrade the storm chasing fraternity that do the right thing and end up having us all being tagged as reckless.

Watch this video and let's have some discussion about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iMdJy3qMak&feature=player_embedded

And in a show of respect and confirmation this was Sean Casey's reply to that video. What a top bloke and admits his faults.

"want to say that I appreciate your concern for chasers safety and I will do my best to make it a priority for my entire team for the rest of the season. I'm not perfect, I know that more than anyone, but I really respect the chaser community and I take your comments seriously."

And this:

http://www.theweatherspace.com/news/05-20-2010-Storm-chaser-thrills-will-become-life-threatening-over-the-years.html
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PostSubject: Re: Storm chasing safety   Fri May 21, 2010 11:37 pm

Yep I've been keeping tabs on this through FB.

It's bad as you say that people driving in such a way end up giving a name to all chasers. Some of that driving was quite bad, having said that I hear most people were driving around 30mph which is a little too slow for a road like they were travelling on. I have to admit, if I were chasing that storm and people were travelling at 30mph, slower than the storm then I'd probably put my foot down, but I'd never do it in an unsafe manner or where you shouldn't overtake. Certainly taking a huge tonnage of a machine over the brow of a hill overtaking isn't a good idea!

But that just shows what a guy Sean is, that he has accepted that some of the driving was inappropriate and he will actively recognise the driving techniques from now on.
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PostSubject: Re: Storm chasing safety   Sat May 29, 2010 2:26 am

I must admit, I thought it was big of Sean not to go straight on the defensive about this! I think he handled this the best way possible under the circumstances.

That said, I'm not a big fan of the hug amount of fuss this has generated, as I think it's very easy to watch the video and jump to a lot of conclusions. Not all of these conclusions will accurately reflect what actually went on.

I think the key thing for me was the fact that the TIV was in radio contact with a lead vehicle further down the road. In Australia, I often used to travel in small convoys of multiple vehicles, in contact via UHF CB radio. A lead vehicle, that could be quite some distance ahead can provide positive feedback on overtaking opportunities. Providing the highway has no side-roads, and the lead vehicle doesn't pass any vehicles pulled over on the verge that could potentially re-enter the roadway between the lead vehicle and remainder of the convoy, this approach can provide very safe overtaking opportunities. I think the fact that (from what I have read and seen) Sean didn't a) cause an accident and b) didn't cause anybody to take evasive action to avoid an accident is a key point that has been often overlooked.

I'm not trying to justify what Sean did, I'm just trying to add some balance to the argument that whilst the video appears hideously irresponsible, it might not be as bad as it might first seem from the video alone. Trial by media and public perception is a raw deal, regardless, because the premise is always guilty until proven innocent and limited information and emotive narrative does wonders to get people fired up.

The only reason why this has drawn a lot of attention is because it was captured and publicised, and Sean's team is prolific. Just 3 weeks ago, my family and I were nearly written off because an idiot decided he could overtake two slow-moving tractors on a bend, on a country road in Fife. Had I not been able to take advantage of a side-road entrance as an emergency escape route, it would have been lights out for us all for sure. The road was such that, there was nowhere to go other than into the oncoming vehicles, or (as I did) hit the skids and get as much of my vehicle off the road and into a life-saving farm entrance as I could and hope to hell the guy cleared my car (which he did).

I would dearly have loved if somebody had caught this guy on camera.. he deserves to have his licence shredded! Sean on the other hand had more information about the traffic involved in his setup than the guy I had to contend with. Yes Sean did make an illegal manoeuvre.. many folk in the UK do that every time they get in their car and speed (I would need 10 hands to count the number that overtake me every time I drive to work, doing the motorway speed limit). However his manoeuvre was informed, and not blind luck.

Just my two pence worth + VAT. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Storm chasing safety   Sat May 29, 2010 12:34 pm

Julian found this from Chuck Doswell. Pretty much a guru.

http://www.flame.org/~cdoswell/chaser_convergence.html
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PostSubject: Re: Storm chasing safety   Sat May 29, 2010 7:29 pm

Interesting read there, and nice find Ju.

You're right about the dangerous driving over here, the drivers of the UK do have some bad habbits!
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