We’ve all been there. Anywhere between a fender bender, a routine stop and a major incident where we don’t understand the applicable laws, driver protections and desirable actions towards an amenable solution. We fumble through tense or anxious interactions with the law enforcement, and we forget to solicit the desired information from unknown witnesses and accidental strangers.
Enter the Connected Lawyer.
This week TurnSignl announced that they are now live nationwide at the press of a button or with a voice command. Yes, now 24×7 U.S. customers can access professional advice from lawyers within the GPS-sensed jurisdiction when pulled-over or worse.
“The mission is simple and three-pronged,” states Jazz Hampton, the co-founder and CEO of TurnSignl, “to protect drivers’ rights, to deescalate these roadside interactions and third – and most importantly – to ensure that everyone remains safe; from drivers to law enforcement to everyone in-between.”
Despite a recording that’s been shared on social media of co-founder and CFO, Andre Creighton, interacting with an attorney and subsequently getting released with a warning, Hampton is very clear: “It’s really important to note that TurnSignl is not a ‘get out of jail free card’ app. If you were speeding, you’re going to get a ticket if the police officer deems it appropriate. We just want everyone to feel safer in the moment.” Hampton explains that especially the four P’s – parents, partners, people of color and police officers – feel peace of mind knowing that the interactions are being recorded and calmer minds shall prevail.
The mobile-phone-based app launched in May of 2021 and is a two-way video conference in English. It presently costs $60/year or $6.99 a month for unlimited user-activations, although TurnSignl has partners that subsidize the cost for low-income families. The mid-term product roadmap includes automatic activation and additional language support.
Six weeks ago, 33-year-old Ricky Cobb II was killed by police during a traffic stop in Minneapolis, the same city where TurnSignl was birthed after the deaths of Philando Castile (32 year-old black man) six years ago and George Flyod (46 year-old black man) were killed during traffic stops. For Cobb, two officers entered the car to remove Cobb from the vehicle, and Cobb attempted to flee from the scene with said troopers hanging precariously from the car. Would any of these fatalities been avoided by the intervention of an objective, calming third party? Like many, new functional safety technologies, only time and statistics will tell if the tech could have helped.
Most of my working weeks are building trust: trust between automotive manufacturers and high-tech suppliers, trust between nervous executives and overloaded employees, and trust between product liability insurers and high-tech companies.
The #1 catalyst for trust: transparency.
There will likely be sarcastic naysayers that see such connected legal services as an extension of ambulance chasing; almost a ride-along instead of a chase-behind. However, I believe our world needs more of such transparency to avoid misunderstandings and conflict.
Yeah, I realize that’s ironic: lawyers to avoid conflict.
And yet …