Thursday, August 27, 2015

37. An argument for cameras on the dashboard

A truck tailgated us this morning at Katipunan Ave. The driver kept his truck close to our rear. And then at the stoplight, he took another lane. I got my phone and tried to call the number on the truck's body, which was a hotline for complaints. No one answered and soon the truck started moving again.  We saw it swerving left to right on two other lanes, the driver and his companion looking jolly and pumped up by their speed. I tried to record everything on the phone, but I forgot to press the record button unfortunately. My wife said it was alright, and we'd just call the hotline maybe later during office hours, so someone would be there to pick up the phone. Thinking about this incident, it came to me that this is an argument to attach a camera on the dashboard to record these wayward drivers on the road. A camera, that is always on whenever the car is on a trip, will never tell a lie. It is primary evidence if presented in court; it should bring some integrity in motoring disputes. No more influence peddling or bribes to obtain favorable police reports. If any policeman will stop us for violating any regulation, the video on the camera will prove him right or acquit us of the accusation. Of course, it is never going to prevent any accident, but it's use will be in court disputes, when people are just settling scores, as it were, so they can move on. These car cameras will be like the CCTV's that are revolutionizing crime detection and prosecution these days. And we don't hear a lot from the privacy rights advocates about these cameras being constitutionally problematic. Indeed, this might be so, because the cameras that populate our lifestyle currently are not quite how George Orwell depicted them in 1984. In the Philippines these cameras are not integrated into one system, so there is no one person yet all powerful to see eveything that's happening. Yet, surely the court system will benefit if that happens, because there is one thing that George Orwell got right: cameras don't lie so put them all over the place. Next time I see that truck, I'll make sure I capture that bastard on cam.

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