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Could Dash Cams Prevent or Lessen Road Rage?

Road rage is one of the dumbest things that some human beings love to do. There’s a good chance that you’ve encountered a hot-headed motorist while you’re on the road. Yes, we all know that road rage is not a positive thing because it leads to aggressive driving, which makes our roads dangerous. According to the United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), more than 94 percent of car crashes are caused by human error and road rage is one of the contributing factors.

They say that road rage can be prevented by keeping a cool head and remaining calm while you’re driving. Those are the obvious advices we often hear. As such, I asked myself if dashboard-mounted cameras (dash cams) can help prevent or lessen road rage. Well, if you ask Big Brother, the concept behind dash cams could make motorists more courteous, calmer, and obedient.

Stanley Milgram’s shocking experiment

Study says that humans are generally more obedient when they are being watched. To back this claim, Yale University psychology professor Stanley Milgram conducted one of the most famous experiments in 1961. Milgram’s experiment showed that individuals would obey any order that came from an authority figure. The experiment made test subjects give fake electric shocks to another human being. About 65 percent of the test subjects went all the way and followed the orders of the authoritative figure.

Big Brother is watching you

In the world of fiction, George Orwell’s novel “1984” showed that humans are obedient to authority since they are constantly being watched through ‘telescreens.’ The novel portrayed that humans will behave and obey authority if their actions are monitored even when they are asleep. Why? It is because humans fear the concept of punishment–who wants to be punished in the first place, right? Big Brother is a fictional character and symbol of absolute authority in Orwell’s 1984. As such, the fictional human beings in 1984 are forced to follow orders since Big Brother is always watching.

Modern-Day Milgram and Orwell

Milgram’s and Orwell’s concept can be equated and simplified into a car dash cam–it constantly record, monitor, and watch the way you and other motorists drive and behave on the road. Considering the ideas thrown by Milgram and Orwell, dash cams could make drivers courteous to other road users and calmer behind the wheel since there’s this notion that an authoritative symbol such as the dash cam is always watching. It’s as if dash cams can be used as a tool to be the government’s eye on the road and to instill discipline in every motorist. With that, I’d like to think that dash cams are the modern day versions of Milgram’s and Orwell’s ideas.

Social Media Viral

Dash cams contribute a lot in making stubborn motorists go viral on social media. With this, dash cams could make drivers more conscious of their actions while on the road. Instead of driving fast and furious and acting like the dumbest driver in the world, motorists could be more civilized and act appropriately through the help of dash cams. You certainly don’t want to damage your dignity and integrity by going viral in a negative way on social media.

State of dash cams in the Philippines

In the Philippines, both the Senate and the House of Representatives have proposed a bill regarding dash cams. The Senate Bill No. 1457 or the “Dash Cam Law” and the House Bill No. 6265 or the “Dashboard Camera Act of 2017” have been proposed last year. However, we have yet to hear the latest update in regards to the two similar bills proposed by the Senate and the House of Representatives.The Dashboard Camera Act of 2017 requires all vehicle manufacturers to ensure that all its models are equipped with dash cams once the cars are sold in the market. But, this is not yet happening as dash cams remain to be an aftermarket equipment.

Dash cams has several benefits for every driver as it records every move you make while you’re on the road. It can be used as an evidence to prove your innocence and it could also protect you from angry road raging drivers. However, will dash cams make motorists act more decently and courteous? I believe that it can do the trick and become the modern day Milgram and Orwell. After all, who wants to act and do something stupid if he/she is being recorded, right? Well, not unless he/she wants to go viral on social media.

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