Verizon Wireless Reaffirms Driving Safety Pledge With Nearly $500,000 Investment

Verizon Wireless Reaffirms Driving Safety Pledge with $500K Investment

Company Reduces Pricing on New Hands-Free Technologies and Creates Awareness Programs for Year-Round Wireless Safety

May 22, 2000


Aubrey Haznar


781-226-8616 (pager)

May 22, 2000-WOBURN, MA-

Verizon Wireless, the largest wireless communications provider in the Northeast and the U.S.,

today committed to expanding its driving safety initiatives nationwide. The company announced

it has earmarked nearly $500,000 nationwide for a variety of wireless safety campaigns and

programs. The company used the occasion of National Wireless Safety Week, May 22-28, to reinforce

its commitment to increase the development and awareness of hands-free technologies, making the

use of wireless phones easier and ultimately safer.

Verizon Wireless made the following commitment for its business nationwide:

  • The company is requiring its handset manufacturers to produce wireless phones with voice-

    activated dialing and two-way speakerphone capabilities within two years, so users can

    dial, send and end wireless calls without pressing any buttons.

Building on that commitment, the company today is introducing four new high-quality, universal

headsets for hands-free talking, two priced under $20.

In the Northeast Region, customers will receive an additional 20 percent discount on the purchase

of select wireless headsets through the end of the month. For more information regarding

headsets, consumers can visit a local Verizon Wireless or shop on-line at


The company also announced today a nationwide headset awareness plan, at a cost of

nearly $500,000, which includes:

  • All of the company's 1,100 stores across the country will be re-merchandised to include a

    separate wall, titled Accessories With Safety in Mind, to showcase the availability and benefits

    of hands-free talking. The expected completion of this effort is October.

  • Free shipping: These headsets and a full range new, hands-free technology are available at

    the company's stores across the country. Customers in the Northeast also can shop for

    hands-free products at Verizon Wireless' Online store

    (www.verizonwireless.com) -- all free of

    shipping charges.

  • Safety Icon: The company has developed a safety icon, which will be prominently featured in posters, advertising and the company's web site, visually reminding

    users nationwide to "Call Safely."

"Fostering safe use of wireless phones in the car is fundamental to this business," said Bob

Stott, Northeast regional president of Verizon Wireless. "We have made a business commitment to

invest in making wireless safety a priority for our company, our manufacturers, our customers,

and for the entire industry. Our aim is to encourage continuing development, affordability and

use of the high-quality, user friendly hands-free technologies."

Verizon Wireless has a longstanding commitment to educating consumers about the safe use of

wireless. During National Wireless Safety Week, Verizon Wireless asks all wireless users to think

"safety" all year long, by following these tips:

Tips for Driving Safely with Your Wireless Phone

  • When behind the wheel, safe driving is always your first responsibility.
  • Dial your phone when your car is not in motion.
  • Always use hands-free when driving and talking; when you turn your phone on, make sure your

    hands-free device is on and working.

  • Pre-program important and frequently-dialed numbers, including home, and babysitter, so you

    can dial them by pressing only a few buttons.

  • Never take notes or write down phone numbers while driving. Rather, pull off the road to a

    safe spot or leave yourself a message on your voice mail system.

  • Know your wireless phone number so emergency personnel can call you back. You may want to

    write it down and keep it in your car for quick reference.

  • If traffic conditions warrant your undivided attention, turn your phone off, and let calls go

    to Voice Mail or activate Call Forwarding.


About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 18

million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new

coast-to-coast wireless company was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses

of Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE:BEL) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company

includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications

and AirTouch Paging. Verizon Wireless will be further strengthened by the addition of the

wireless assets of GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE) when it completes its merger with Bell Atlantic. The new

company will have a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50

and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, Verizon

Wireless is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more Verizon Wireless

information at