To See or Not to See


Christie Margaris
Staff Writer

For those of you who struggle with the day-to-day task of driving in reverse without backing into cars, poles and people, etc., you need not live in fear any longer. According to a recent proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, all new cars sold in the United States will include rear-view cameras as of 2014.

Now, I am not really sure why there is a pressing need for these cameras. There is nothing you or your peripheral vision will miss simply by turning around in your seat. Now, I am a step ahead of the game. I’ve been cruising around in my Prius (now now, don’t hate) since 2010. It came with a rear-view camera of its own and let me just tell you, I have not used it once. That is the honest truth. Something about its relatively small, and somewhat skewed picture makes me feel like I’ve missed something. Simply put, I feel a lot more confident in my backing abilities when I turn around and scope out the scene for myself.

Now I understand it’s a safety measure, technology can be considered pretty reliable, blah, blah, blah. What I’m trying to say is I have no real problem with turning my head for a quick second while gliding in reverse. That said, prior to installment of the rear-view cameras, I never had a problem with backing into things. So maybe I’m not the best candidate to question this safety measure. It could very well be a good thing.

One of my housemates, for example (I will not disclose names), always seems to be backing into things. We call her the bulldozer of Isla Vista. Albeit, no bikers, but still, I have my doubts from time to time about the authenticity of her driver’s license.


Point being, she is the type of person who would benefit immensely from a safety precaution like this.

So, yes, you can turn around in your seat. You in no way need to be reliant on a rear-view mirror. Regardless, I completely understand where the National Highway Safety Administration is coming from. I really do. Better safe than sorry. I get it. But then I took the chance to interview a few members of the University of California Santa Barbara populace and gather their opinions.

Sandra Murray, my former English TA, saw the advantages.

“I’ve never really given it much thought before. I guess some people would benefit, definitely, but I’m a decent driver already,” Murray said, proudly.

“It sounds pointless to me. Idiots can just turn around,” said Macy Perkins, a second-year psychology major.

And lastly, Caleb Richter seemed less than enthusiastic about the upcoming feature.

“I don’t know if it should be number one on the to-do list right now, but sounds cool, I guess,” Richter said.

So there you have it, folks. I found you three people who think this measure is a bit over the top. I’m sure I could find plenty more, but I don’t have all day. So for those of you who have desperately been waiting for an advancement like this, knock yourselves out. The rest of us will just go about our business.