ChaserCon brings law enforcement and storm chasers together to talk safety

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Storm Chasers from all over the country are in Wichita this weekend for ChaserCon.

On Saturday, law enforcement made a first time guest appearance to talk about storm chaser safety.

Over the years, there's been more concerns regarding storm chaser safety. Some in law enforcement feel chasers disregard traffic laws during a storm and are becoming more reckless on the roads.

James Menzies has been a storm chaser for decades, covering tornadoes all over the country. He says safety is his first priority during a storm but he feels some storm chasers have become more reckless on the roads.

"I'm guilty, I put my hands up, in the past not completely paying attention to the roads, and almost having an accident," Menzies said. "And there are a lot of people out there that don't pay attention when they are storm chasing and I've witnessed it. People running stop signs, weather its on purpose or accident, because they're looking at their computer screens."

Both law enforcement and storm chasers both stand on the front lines during a tornado. They have their differences, but can agree public safety is the number one priority.

State trooper Chad Crittenden says this is the first formal conversation between law enforcement in Kansas and storm chasers. Most communication between them happens on the side of the highway during a storm.

"They aren't sure why they can't go to certain places to chase the storm, and why we're blocking roads potentially, or why they can't have certain things on their vehicles and this is the perfect time instead of having to do this on the side of the road, we can talk about it today," Crittenden said.

They didn't come to any conclusion but they believe having that conversation is a critical first step.

ChaserCon wraps up Sunday at noon. With tornado season approaching, this conversation is more relevant than ever and much bigger than just law enforcement and storm chasers but for everyone sharing the roadways.