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US Celebrates National Wireless Safety Week
Posted: 26-May-2001 [Source: CTIA]

[The US wireless industry talks about safety on the wireless highways.]

Washington D.C. -- With the start of Memorial Day weekend less than a day away, when a record 28.5 million travelers will be on the road, according to the AAA, the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) and its member companies, believe it is of great importance to remind drivers of their responsibility to drive safely while also encouraging them to make a difference by using their wireless phones to help others.

Rebecca and George Garton did just that. While traveling through a construction area on an intrastate highway last November, Rebecca and George Garton witnessed a truck hit a school bus full of children and then flee from the scene. Rebecca and George followed the truck, armed with their wireless phone and a camera. When the driver realized he was being followed, he pulled off the highway. The Gartons used their wireless phone to contact the Highway Patrol to give a description of the driver as well as the truck's license plate number. After the truck driver had pulled over, the Gartons checked on the bus driver and students. Thanks to the Gartons' quick thinking and their wireless phone, the hit-and-run driver was identified and apprehended.

"The Garton's heroic actions exemplify the important role individuals and wireless phones play in emergency situations," said Tom Wheeler, president and CEO of CTIA. "Wireless phones have helped reduce response times and have assisted in the apprehension of drunk, impaired and aggressive drivers."

When used appropriately, wireless phones are the greatest safety tools since the creation of 911. Everyday, nearly 140,000 emergency service calls are placed from wireless phones. That's 96 calls per minute!

Wheeler added, "The wireless industry is committed to educating drivers about the responsible use of our products. From major highways to neighborhood streets, we are encouraging all drivers to make safety their first priority this holiday weekend."

"When used responsibly, cellular telephones play an important role in safety. We consistently hear of people using them to make an urgent call from their vehicle notifying authorities of an accident or other serious situation," stated John Moffat, Chair of the National Association of Governors' Highway Safety Representatives (NAGHSR). Moffat added, "As the representative body for state highway safety leaders, NAGHSR supports National Wireless Safety Week and CTIA in its efforts to ensure that people do in fact make safety their first call."

CTIA reminds drivers that if they decide to use their phone while driving, to first ask themselves,

* "Is this the right time to make a call?"

* "Will this call distract me from my first responsibility to drive safely?"

If they do decide to call, CTIA encourages individuals to follow some basic dos and don'ts:

* Let the person you are talking with know you're driving;

* Keep the call short;

* Use a hands free device and speed dial to place calls;

* Never take notes or look up phone numbers while driving;

* Never use your phone in heavy traffic or hazardous conditions; and

* Let voicemail pick-up.

CTIA also reminds drivers that state laws prohibit distracted driving.

CTIA is celebrating National Wireless Safety Week by profiling the "Faces of Safety." Each day an important aspect of safety will be highlighted along with a wireless hero who armed with their wireless phone, stopped a crime, assisted a neighbor or saved a loved one. In the coming days look for the stories of Steven Wayne Elmore (Impaired Driver Prevention Day), Kay Brooks (Disaster Relief Day) and Erica Richardson (School Safety Day).

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