Verizon Wireless Launches Educational Program in Hawaii to Help New Drivers Learn About Wireless Safety Behind the Wheel

Verizon Wireless Launches Educational Program in Hawaii to Help New Drivers Learn About Wireless Safety Behind the Wheel

Hawaii Driving Instructors Preview Video at the 2001 Hawaii Traffic Safety Forum

November 29, 2001




Verizon Wireless has unveiled a new educational program that teaches new drivers about wireless safety behind the wheel, reinforcing the company's industry leadership position on the issue. The program, entitled vIQSM, or "vehicle Intelligence Quest," encourages new drivers to consider their driving aptitude and educates them about the options for using wireless technologies in their vehicle. The educational video and instructor's guides were shown at the Department of Transportation's 2001 Hawaii Traffic Safety Forum in Waikiki this week and over 170 video kits were distributed to driving instructors in attendance at no cost.

The video presents three real-life scenarios incorporating challenges that drivers face daily. The vIQ educator's guide takes instructors step-by-step through the program and suggests breakout activities to give their students an opportunity to think and talk about the issues of vehicle safety and wireless phone usage.

"Our goal with vIQ is to educate new drivers about making smart choices from the onset of their driving careers," said Tony Simpson, regional president of Verizon Wireless. "The instructive approach we use centers on giving the audience options, since the research we did with educators in the field suggested that young adults are generally more responsive when given alternatives. The vIQ program recognizes that sometimes the best choice may be to pull over to a safe spot off the road to make a call or to wait until reaching the final destination before placing or answering a call."

The educational package is available without cost to educators, schools, libraries and drivers education instructors throughout the United States. To order a copy of the video and for more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com/responsibledriving.

As the nations largest wireless provider, Verizon Wireless has put its strength behind its "Drive Responsibly. Call with Care." initiatives. Verizon Wireless is committed to educating the public on the responsible in-vehicle use of wireless phones. For those who choose to talk and drive, Verizon Wireless believes hands-free technologies can help improve attentiveness to driving. Now, the company's vIQ program helps new drivers assess their aptitude to make the smartest decision for them.

Verizon Wireless sought input from professionals with expertise in education and vehicle safety to participate in the content development of the program. Verizon Wireless would like to acknowledge the assistance of those individuals from the following organizations for their contributions: AAA of the Carolinas; California Department of Motor Vehicles; Dept. of Health and Safety, Indiana State University; Driving School Assoc. of the Americas; Driving School Assoc. of California; Governor's Highway Safety Bureau, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Massachusetts State Police; NYS Education Department; The Safe America Foundation; Traffic Safety Association of Michigan.

Verizon Wireless selected FableVision Studios to develop and create the video because of their extensive experience with creating educational curricula. FableVision Studios has created educational programming for a variety of broadcast, educational and corporate clients, including PBS and Scholastic.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28.7 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.