The following definitions shall apply:
News-Gathering Vehicle. A News-Gathering Vehicle is a motor vehicle for which a Vehicle Press Permit has been issued by the Director of Transportation while the vehicle is in the control of a newspaper, radio or television station, or is being operated by an employee of a newspaper, radio or television station whose primary duty is to gather or photograph news events while gathering information or images for use in the news.
Vehicle Press Permit. A Vehicle Press Permit is a permit issued by the SFMTA for the use of an authorized News-Gathering Vehicle.
The SFMTA shall issue one or more Vehicle Press Permit(s) to a newspaper, radio or television station upon receipt of an application signed by the managing editor, station manager, or person of equivalent managerial responsibility, of the newspaper, radio or television station. The application shall be on a form approved by the Director of Transportation. The application shall require the applicant to verify in writing that each requested Vehicle Press Permit is for either (1) an identified vehicle owned and operated by the newspaper, radio or television station and used primarily for the gathering of news, or (2) a person holding a full-time position with that organization whose duties primarily involve the actual gathering of news outside of the organization’s main office and who has been issued a Press Permit by the Chief of Police. Each such organization with 12 or more full-time employees may also apply for one temporary Vehicle Press Permit, and each such organization with 25 or more full-time employees may also apply for two temporary Vehicle Press Permits, which shall be of a distinguishing color and may be assigned by the newspaper, radio or television station on an as-needed basis to temporary or free-lance reporters or photographers while they are engaged in news gathering for that newspaper, radio or television station, subject to the other restrictions on use set forth in this Section. In the event the temporary Vehicle Press Permits are being used by a newspaper, radio or television station in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of this Section, the Director of Transportation shall have the discretion, after a hearing to consider evidence of such misuse and testimony from the newspaper, radio or television station and other interested persons, to revoke any or all Vehicle Press Permits issued to such organization. All Vehicle Press Permits shall be valid for a period of not more than one year, and a new application must be submitted for reissuance of each permit for the following year. The Director of Transportation may request supporting documentation or evidence to verify any information supplied on an application for a Vehicle Press Permit, including verification of an employee’s news gathering duties. Print media outlets whose publications are not published more frequently than once per month shall not be eligible to receive Vehicle Press Permits.
Nothing in this Article shall relieve the operator and/or owner of a News-Gathering Vehicle or the newspaper, radio or television station that holds a Vehicle Press Permit for such a vehicle from the duty to operate and Park the vehicle with due regard for access of Fire Department vehicles to any property, and to the safety of all persons and vehicles, nor shall these provisions protect the owner of the newspaper, radio or television station from the consequences of reckless disregard for the safety of others.
The Director of Transportation may collect permit fees for Vehicle Press Permits in order to recover costs for administering the program. Any annual increase to the permit fee may not exceed an amount calculated by applying the Automatic Indexing Implementation Plan approved by the SFMTA Board of Directors in Resolution No. 09-065 to the permit fee.
Provided that the News-Gathering Vehicle complies with all other applicable requirements, a News-Gathering Vehicle may Park where authorized by the Transportation Code, Division II, Section 106 (Exemptions).
(Added by SFMTA Bd. Res. No. 12-128, Ad. 10/16/2012, Eff. 11/16/2012)