Tech

This Siri trick for iPhone launches your camera and texts an emergency contact if you get pulled over

Key Points
  • An outside developer has come up with a Siri Shortcut that automatically turns on your iPhone's video camera, mutes your phone and sends a text message with your location to an emergency contact if you get pulled over.
  • Once you've installed it, all you have to say is "Siri, I'm getting pulled over," and Siri will do the rest.
  • Here's how to install and use the "I'm getting pulled over" Siri shortcut.
Susan Chiang | Getty Images

An outside developer has come up with a Siri Shortcut that automatically turns on your iPhone's video camera, mutes your phone and sends a text message with your location to an emergency contact if you get pulled over.

Once you've installed it, all you have to say is "Hey Siri, I'm getting pulled over," and Siri will do the rest.

If you're unfamiliar, Siri Shortcuts were introduced a couple of years ago and can be used for all sorts of things. The Shortcuts app on your iPhone can be used to tap into third-party apps, like TripIt, to bring you your travel itinerary, for example. Or you can create a custom command for Siri so it automatically starts playing your favorite music and delivers directions to work when you get in the car.

The "I'm getting pulled over" Shortcut.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

The "I'm getting pulled over" shortcut is useful you want to automatically alert someone you've been pulled over and have your own video record of the stop. It's not built by Apple. It was created by Robert Petersen, who also developed a similar Siri shortcut called "police" in 2018

Here's how to install and use "I'm getting pulled over."

  • First, you need to give permission for your phone to run from "Untrusted sources," which are published outside Apple's gallery of shortcuts. These aren't approved by Apple, and the company urges "extra caution" when turning this feature on. To do that, open Settings, choose Shortcuts and turn "Allow Untrusted Sources" on.
  • Download the "I'm getting pulled over" shortcut using the Safari browser on your iPhone.
  • Click "Get Shortcut" on the "I'm getting pulled over page."
It sends you current location to a contact and begins recording with your iPhone camera.
Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • Scroll down the page. You'll see everything the shortcut will do: It turns on Do Not Disturb mode, turns down the volume and brightness, grabs your current location and sends it to a pre-set contact (more on that in a minute) and turns on your iPhone's front-facing video camera.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and select "Add Untrusted Shortcut."
  • Enter in the contact you'd like to notify if you're pulled over. You can add several.
  • Enter in the contact you'd like to send a copy of any video recorded during the stop.
  • Tap "Done."
  • Now open Shortcuts, scroll down to "I'm getting pulled over" and tap the menu button on its icon. Make sure you give camera and location access. This allows it to gather your location to send to a contact and turn on the camera.
  • From the same menu, you can also choose to add the shortcut to your homescreen, in case you want to tap it instead of speaking to Siri to run the shortcut.
Just say "Hey Siri I'm getting pulled over" once you've installed the Shortcut.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

That's it. Now you've set up a Siri Shortcut to automatically start recording video in case you get pulled over (or any other time). It'll also send a text message to an emergency contact with a copy of the video and your location, with a note that you've been stopped.

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