Verizon Wireless Sponsors Wireless Safety Educational Program For New Drivers in Washington

BELLEVUE, WA — Verizon Wireless has reinforced the company's industry leading position on responsible driving by launching the distribution of an educational kit to teach new drivers about wireless safety behind the wheel. The program, entitled vIQSM, or "vehicle Intelligence Quest," is being sent to approximately 250 school district curriculum coordinators throughout Washington, and will be used by the Puget Sound Education Television (PSETV), the local K-12 cable channel in King and Pierce counties.

"Verizon Wireless' vIQ program helps educate students about responsible wireless phone use while they are first learning to drive - an important time to develop safe, defensive driving habits," said Joan Tritchler, Executive Director of Communications, Puget Sound Education Service District. "Puget Sound Education Television will air the vIQ video weekly and provide links to safe driving tips on the Verizon Wireless website on its website, This provides the additional opportunity for parents and their children to learn together at home."

vIQ, designed to be part of the driver education curricula, is packaged with an instructive Educator's Guide and video, which takes the instructor step-by-step through the program. Breakout activities are suggested to give instructors and their students an opportunity to talk about the issues of vehicle safety and wireless phone usage. The educational package is available at no cost to educators, schools, libraries and drivers education instructors throughout the United States.

"While wireless phones can be an invaluable safety tool in a vehicle - in contacting emergency personnel or helping others in need," said Kelley Kurtzman, president of Verizon Wireless' Pacific Northwest Region, "we want to help young drivers learn how to use phones safely. We hope the vIQ program will help drivers develop good habits and an awareness of the need to focus on their main responsibility: safe driving."

Emmy® Award winning creative director, Peter Reynolds of FableVision Studios, scripted the animated vIQ video and educational guide. Reynolds has 17 years' experience developing educational software.

Editor's Note: To order a copy of the video and for more information, contact Susan Shepard at 503-408-2008 or visit


PSETV is operated by Puget Sound Educational Service District and a consortium of school districts in King and Pierce counties. For viewing times and locations, as well as a complete program schedule, please visit

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