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CURPERTINO, Calif. — “Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over.”
With that one phrase, drivers can get an added sense of security the next time they’re pulled over.
With a new app called Shortcuts, iPhone users can create their own verbal commands to trigger their phones to perform a wide variety of actions — all without needing to press a button or touch the screen.
Now, Redditor Robert Petersen of Arizona has created and publicly released the add-on “Police.”
One quick phrase will discreetly direct the phone to turn down distractions, send an alert to an emergency contact and start recording whenever you’re pulled over by police.
“I have noticed in reading news articles and seeing reports on TV that in many cases you end up with police saying one thing happened and the citizen being pulled over saying another,” Petersen told USA Today.
“And how do you determine truth? Sometimes the police have body cams, sometimes not, and even when they do it’s not always released in a timely manner.”
Peterson explained in his Reddit post that the police shortcut launches a series of actions when triggered.
The first thing the police shortcut does is reduce distractions.
The shortcut turns off music, turns down the screen brightness and turns on Do Not Disturb mode so you will not get any notifications.
“When dealing with being pulled over and interacting with law enforcement, you want as little distraction as possible, and that includes music, bright screens and notifications coming in,” Petersen said.
“You want to be focused on the encounter at hand and don’t want any unnecessary distraction to yourself or to law enforcement personnel.”
The second part is to make sure there’s a record of what’s happening.
After eliminating distractions, the shortcut sends a message to a contact of your choice. That text will include a pre-written message, letting them know you got pulled over, and your current location. Then, it opens your front camera.
Because of limitations with Shortcuts, users will still need to press the record button. It will not automatically record on its own.
Once you stop the recording and press “Keep,” the shortcut will send a copy of the video to a contact of your choice, turn the brightness back up and turn off Do Not Disturb mode.
This shortcut is designed to give drivers added sense of security when pulled over.
The creator admitted that he believed the vast majority of the time, the shortcut will be unnecessary.
“But if you end up in a situation where it ended up being a good idea, you’ll be thankful you did,” he said.