“Hey Siri, I’m Being Pulled Over”
There is an iOS shortcut from 2018 called “I’m Getting Pulled Over” that will automatically video record your interactions with the police if you are stopped or pulled over.
The shortcut contains a script that turns off any music, and initiates your iPhone camera to make a video recording. It will present options to upload your video to iCloud or Dropbox, and to send the video recording, with your location to your emergency contact.
This app has made a resurgence in popularity since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
This is a free security back-up and insurance policy for whenever you may want to record an interaction whether its with the police or anyone else. Essentially, this shortcut turns your iPhone into your personal high quality body cam. If by any chance you do become a victim of misconduct or mistreatment by the police (or anyone else), you will have the hard evidence to support your side of the story.
Because the video may be copied to the iCloud and sent to your emergency contact, even if the video is erased from your iPhone a copy will still exist.
Following the Script
To initiate the shortcut, just say “Siri, I’m being pulled over”. The shortcut’s script will initiate 25 actions following this command. It will begin recording video from your front facing camera, pause any music you may have been playing, and turn off “Do Not Disturb”, if it is on.
Is it Legal?
Yes, it is legal to record your interactions with the police. A legitimate cop doing their job properly will be not be bothered or offended by being recorded. The officers I spoke with said to me they would not mind being recorded.
If your iOS is 12 or later you should have ShortCuts already installed. If not you will need to either update your iOS or download the app.
Before you can download the “I’m Being Pulled Over” shortcut you need to go to your setting for Shortcuts and “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts”. See the screens below.
Click Allow, then enter you passcode to confirm. If this works skip over to the Download paragraph.
At this point I encountered an error. The iOS stated that before I could “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts” I needed to run a shortcut first. Hmm. That took a moment of thought. I opened the ShortCut app. They have a bunch of preloaded “Essential” scripts ready to use and install. I just wanted something easy and simple.
I found “Home ETA”. This is a simple app that when initiated, will text a person, how long it will take to get home based upon your current location. I installed the app, put my home address in and my wife’s phone number and I was good to go.
“Siri, Home ETA.”
It performed flawlessly, sending an ETA text to my wife. Who’s now texting me, what the heck is this text about. Answer, answer. Go back to setting, and try to “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts”. Same error. Hmmm. Okay I reason, maybe I can’t use Siri, to run the Shortcut. I open my Shortcuts app, go to “My Shortcuts” Hit “Home ETA”, it sends my wife another text, she doesn’t respond, she used to it by now.
Go back to setting, try to “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts”. Success! Yeah!
Download the “I’m Being Pulled Over” shortcut using the Safari browser on your iPhone. It installs automatically. Answer a few set-up questions, like adding my emergency contacts, and the shortcut is installed.
Using the ShortCut for the First Time
The first time you use the shortcut, Siri will ask you for a series of permissions to access your camera, location, and ability to text, see screen capture above. Grant all permissions. This will allow the shortcut to initiate quickly next time it is used. The shortcut will then start recording. You can stop the video recording as you normally would stop recording. When you stop recording you are presented with the options of texting video and uploading video to iCloud or Dropbox.
Modifying the Script
When I tested the script, it used the front camera of my iPhone. I needed the back camera. The first thing I thought to do was to see if I could rewrite or edit the script to access the back camera. One disadvantage of being a programmer is you tend to think of the more complicated solutions.
I hit the three editing dots on the top right of the “I’m Getting Pull Over” shortcut. This opened up the shortcut to edit the set-up information. Scrolling down the list, was an option to change camera from “Front” to “Back”, see screen capture above, success.
This easy to implement and use shortcut may be useful to you in the future.