Some perspective: The amount of traffic local officials are talking about is roughly the level of traffic of a high school or small college football game. Having interacted with several local officials the last few days, it seems the level of traffic is not so much the issue. The issue seems to be that they are not expecting it.
One other item of perspective: There were hundreds of chasers out last weekend and not a single accident occurred involving chasers.
That said, there is a genuine problem and that is what I call the gawkers. Here is an example from WRAL-TV that I would consider a form of child endangerment. While I apologize the video is rotated and not vertical it is so shocking that it illustrates the issue better than I ever could.
Please, please do not attempt to storm chase or go out watch a storm if you are under a tornado warning. People were killed doing it in Alabama last year and in southern Indiana earlier this year. It is not worth your life.
Update: 7:30am Friday. The Wichita Eagle has an article on this same subject here. Two comments:
- If people are "driving crazy" give them a ticket. The (numerous) chasers I saw Saturday drove very well with one exception. It is nonsense that they don't "have time."
- "Kingman County Sheriff Randy Hill said his attempts to track and report developments of an intensifying thunderstorm moving toward Reno County were thwarted by chasers who were blocking roads." I was there. Frankly, we didn't need the Kingman Co. sheriff to "report developments." We chasers are better qualified to do that! Local authorities should focus on responding to damage, assisting the injured, etc. Perhaps, in this era of storm chasing, the idea that local law enforcement is needed to track tornadoes is outmoded.