Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Do you have your 'Press' safety vest?

A heads up to journalists everywhere in the U.S. This from my local press association Web Site:

Journalists will need to be highly visible


Beginning on Nov. 24 of this year, reporters and photographers working on federal highway rights-of-way will have to wear high-visibility safety apparel.
This new regulation is part of a U.S. Department of Transportation rule that will require all people working within highway rights of way to wear high-visibility apparel.
Newspapers need to be aware of this coming requirement and provide their reporters and photographers with vests or other acceptable apparel.
SCPA is now taking orders for the ANSI 107-2004 compliant Class II regulation safety vests that all newspaper employees covering accidents or other stories along federal highways will be required to wear. Vests will be imprinted with the word “PRESS” in large letters on the back. The cost is $20 for members and $30 for non-members and the deadline to order is October 1.

The question, of course, will be how closely the local constabulary enforces this, but it does open yet another door to, shall we say, zealousness. And remember, while we sort of instinctively think of interstates in this context, there are a lot of other federal shield highways out there. I'm not clear how -- or if -- this will apply on those as well. It poses an interesting question because many of those routes wind along local streets, so where does the federal right of way begin and end?


At 8/27/08, 2:28 PM, Blogger Davisull said...

Doug, just a couple weeks ago I learned that drivers in the eurozone countries now have to have vests in their cars, so that if they have a breakdown and have to get out and repair the tire or something they have to be wearing a safety vest. So this seems to be an international trend.

At 8/27/08, 6:18 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Ohhhh, I can see a new market now for designer Press vests.

At 10/17/08, 4:54 PM, Anonymous Charles Campbell said...

In an email from the SCBA this afternoon (October 17, 2008)) it appears that we in the radio broadcasting world are now included. I was feeling left out.

At 10/17/08, 4:55 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

I'm having a special one made up that says "Media Jackal" on it.

At 11/14/08, 8:55 PM, Anonymous jimmy d said...

We ordered blank ones, that way the overzealous ones won't have an easy time picking us out on the scene. Obviously this does not apply to folks carrying Betacams with logos all over them, but for us, it works.

Also, I've read at least one version, supposedly quoted from the real thing, that said it applies to not only federal highways, but to all roads paid for or maintained with federal dollars, which is most all of them.

Of course, if you're not wearing one, and you get hit, you can expect the motorist to sue YOU, since you were invisible without it:-)

At 11/16/08, 6:19 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Yeah, I'm not a fan of wearing "Press" on my back -- too much like a bull's eye. I've got a blank one, too.


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