The safety of the photographers, camera operators, videographers, commentators, reporters and journalists who provide media coverage for our sport is every bit as important to us as the safety of our competitors, officials, volunteers and spectators.
But the fact is: motorsport is dangerous and accidents that cause harm, and even death, can and do happen – especially when media representatives are often closer to the action than the average spectator.
All motorsport events in New Zealand permitted by MotorSport NZ are required to have a comprehensive event safety plan which specifies the approved locations for photographers, videographers and camera operators.
Being granted access to an event as a media representative differs from event to event, depending on the organiser and the level of the event. A ClubSport event, i.e. a hillclimb organised by a local car club, is typically a good option if you’re building experience as a photographer or videographer, whereas a national championship or international event will require a considerable level of experience and expertise to conduct yourself safely near the action. Accreditation as MotorSport NZ-accredited media requires a number of criteria to be satisfied – please refer to the media accreditation page.
Before you prepare to cover an event as a photographer or videographer, please consider your own personal safety, and the safety of those around you.
Regardless of your media experience and accreditation status, ALWAYS FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE EVENT MARSHALS.
This video from the FIA World Rally Championship offers some quick tips on where to be best positioned to safely capture the spectacle of rallying. Similar guidelines apply to circuit racing or any other form of organised motorsport in New Zealand.
The FIA has produced two safety documents which are invaluable for media to read. The information is largely for event organisers, but highlights to media the safety considerations that the event organisers must work through. These guidelines highlights the importance of media taking responsibility for their own safety by standing or moving only in approved areas and following the directions of the event marshals at all time.