Troopers Warning Storm Spotters To Obey Rules Of The Road

Friday, April 29th 2016, 7:23 pm
By: News On 6

Troopers are reminding storm chasers that if they catch them on the phone streaming and driving, it’s against the law.

The warning is coming from troopers in neighboring Kansas. They said if you're reading the screen and chasing storms at the same time, they'll give you a ticket.

News On 6 Storm Tracker Von Castor uses a lot of technology to find the storm and relay live pictures back to our station.

In the past ten years, he's seen an increase of storm spotters following him and professional spotters into severe weather.

"Anybody that has a smartphone can, theoretically, can find a storm on radar and think in their mind that they can chase it," Castor said.

But, he said untrained spotters can put everyone at risk.

"We're out there for the public safety, not just to view the storms, but to give the public warning and give them sufficient notice that there's something dangerous headed their way," Castor said.

In neighboring Kansas, the highway patrol is noticing a dangerous trend - streaming video apps giving anyone the platform to chase and create their own audience.

Trooper Ben Gardner with Kansas Highway Patrol said, "It's not safe for them, it's not safe for other motorists and they're not really making a good environment for themself or others."

Gardner took to social media to remind storm spotters about the laws when it comes to using mobile devices.

"If it's accessible and the driver is reading these comments as they're driving down the road during a live stream, they're in violation of the law," he said.

Troopers in Kansas said speeding is still a problem with storm spotters. Last weekend troopers cited four spotters driving in excess of 95 miles per hour.