In a recent video posted by SG Road Vigilante, it features a woman who constantly insists that the driver has purposefully pointed his rear-view mirror at her breasts and confronted him about it.
In the ensuing argument, she continues to accuse him of this act of deliberate immodesty, whilst the driver, who doesn’t seem well-versed in English, struggles to understand and communicate with her and thinks she’s asking about the “address” instead of her “breasts’”
However, is this truly a scene of vigilantism, or just a genuine misunderstanding and miscommunication on both sides?
Back to Driving Basics
As any driver is first taught, the three mirrors of the car are always adjusted as if the driver is already assuming a driving position.
The rear-view mirror should show as much of the back view as possible, while the side mirrors are angled with their vehicle at the edge, to give them a steady point of reference for what they are seeing in the mirror relative to the sides of their own vehicle.
In essence, the angle of the mirrors varies from person to person because all of us have different heights.
When I’m in a taxi, the driver is always exposed to my shiny forehead regardless because of how short I am, relative to most drivers. Their rear-view mirrors might have anti-glare or dimming functions, but no one is safe from my light-reflecting forehead.
In this scenario, it is completely possible that the passenger is either taller or around the same height of the driver, which led to the rear-view mirror incidentally pointing towards her breasts from her perspective.
The driver later adjusting the mirror by slanting the mirror upwards by a bit about two minutes into the video, only to have it face the roof of the car instead, kind of proves the point that it might not have been intentional on the driver’s part.
And adjusting mirrors while driving? That’s a huge no-no in Driving 101.
Plus, it might also mean that the driver no longer had the full view of the backend, which could have been dangerous for both of them.
Supposing that the driver is a pervert, he should have re-angled his rear-view mirror every time a woman stepped onto his car before he started driving. But that was probably never his focus.
Moreover, due to the angles and different perspectives from where they are positioned at, what the lady sees in the mirror could be completely different from the driver, who by all accounts, had been trying to navigate and keep his eyes on the rainy and busy road.
Not a physics major here, but Houston, I think we have a problem here.
Of course, I am not saying she is wrong for feeling offended, nor is it about pulling the victim shaming card—but, the lady had every right to move left or right of the passengers’ seat which she had to herself, if it had really bothered her so much, as some commenters have pointed out.
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Another apparent issue in the entire video is the language barrier between the two.
The lady is not well-versed in his language, the driver has a scarce understanding of her Singlish.
When she asked, “Why you put the mirror on my breast,” the driver responded with “Wait, wait, I want to tell you where you want to go… Potong Pasir, right?”
It’s clear that whenever the lady refers to her “breasts”, the driver hears or processes it incorrectly as “address”, which only served to aggravate the situation between them further.
Thus, when the driver finally understands the problem after repetitions and threats to report him to the police, he shifts the mirror upwards.
The last minute of the video basically devolves into a near-incoherent argument of the lady wanting to get off the taxi at the nearest 7-Eleven on the left, while the driver tries to wave off her previous accusations.
… By the way, Ms Passenger, I don’t think the driver was Chinese, like you think he was.
Compared to the choler of the whole situation, the ending was rather anticlimactic, although the passenger’s attached message to the video was… interesting, to put it lightly.
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