News Release

Verizon Wireless partners with Minnesotans for Safe Driving to Promote Safety

Verizon Wireless Makes Donation in Recognition of Wireless Safety Week

May 22, 2000

Lisa Bowersock
Verizon Wireless
425-603-7427

Sharon K. Gehrman-Driscoll
Minnesotans for Safe Driving
952-238-0970

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — As part of Verizon Wireless' on-going focus on safety, the company today announced a $2,500 donation to Minnesotans for Safe Driving to assist that organization with its efforts in educating the public about the danger of impaired driving. The donation is being made through Verizon Wireless' Community Relations Program, which supports organizations focusing on safety issues in communities where Verizon Wireless does business.

"This donation will help Minnesotans for Safe Driving change behaviors through our educational programs and services," said Sharon K. Gehrman-Driscoll, Director and Victim Advocate, Minnesotans for Safe Driving. "The availability of a wireless phone, when used responsibly, has the potential to be an excellent means of insuring the safety and well-being of Minnesota motorists. Minnesotans for Safe Driving encourages motorists to use wireless phones in a responsible manner."

"We're pleased to support the efforts of Minnesotans for Safe Driving," said LeAnn Talbot, regional president for Verizon Wireless in Minnesota. "We recognize that while wireless phones can be an invaluable safety tool - in contacting emergency personnel or helping others in need, for instance - it carries with it an important responsibility: When operating a car, the first responsibility is safe driving."

"During National Wireless Safety Week, May 22-28, Verizon Wireless asks all drivers to remember to think 'safety' all year long when behind the wheel," Talbot added.

To reinforce the safety message, Verizon Wireless is distributing, free of charge to interested customers as long as supplies last, a 10-minute safety video at its Verizon Wireless retail stores in the Minneapolis area.

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 provider 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. When the merger is complete, 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.

Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company in its Media Center on the Web at: www.verizonwireless.com.

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