Should Driving While Videotaping be Outlawed?


I just don’t get it. I know that our blackberries, iPhones and smart phones encroach upon our personal lives. People use their mobile devices anywhere and everywhere they go. It is not uncommon to see a man standing at the urinal holding his Blackberry checking his e-mail. (Yes, I have seen this.)

Likewise, high-definition video cameras have gotten smaller, more convenient and easier to use. With the advent of the Flip video camera, the Sony Webbie, and the Kodak Zi8, creating good quality video is as simple as pressing the red record button. However, I repeatedly see videos of attorneys who create video while driving. I just don’t get it.

There is a time and place for everything. Most attorneys who are creating video on their own use these small little cameras to hold the video camera with one hand at arms length and start talking. This is the simplest way to create a bear-bones, quick and dirty video. Admittedly, many times the footage is shaky and the production values are often lacking.

But what’s the deal with creating a video while you’re driving? In New York, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle while using a cell phone, except for emergencies. Hence the advent of hands-free wireless microphones or speakerphones for our cars. Aside from the multitasking that is associated with holding the camera at arm’s length, driving at the same time, observing the flow of traffic and negotiating other cars, you must keep up a stream-of-thought level of consciousness to create your video. The attorneys who create these videos fail to realize that the moving background is incredibly distracting.

These same lawyers argue that if they have some free time while they are commuting from one meeting to the next or from court back to their office, then why shouldn’t they use that time constructively to create an educational video message? Here’s my response: Use that time constructively to listen to marketing CDs from well-known experts. Listen to lectures and seminars on ways to improve your attorney marketing. Don’t create a message that may get you killed because of your multitasking while driving.

When you put that video online, the last thing you want is a distracting background of cars zipping by that takes away from your informational message. It is distracting. If you really want to create a two or three minute video while sitting in your car, then pull into a parking lot, tape your message, and then go about your day. This way you can show people that you’re a busy attorney sitting in your car on the way to some important event.

My advice: skip the moving car video and pull over. The last thing you want is a police officer to pull you over and tell you that you were driving under the influence of videotaping. That would surely make the front page news.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

Want to learn how to use video to market your law practice today? Spend the next 58 seconds watching this video to learn more.

Have a great day!

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New York Attorney Gerry Oginski is the leading expert on creating lawyer videos. He is the uncontested master of using video to generate new business for lawyers.

Larry Bodine