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SAFETY IS KEY TO CELLULAR USERS; CELLULAR SAFETY WEEK, MAY 12-18

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Safety is one of the most common reasons 11 million cellular subscribers across the U.S. have chosen to invest in cellular phones, according to a recent poll conducted by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA). Almost 70 percent of the poll's respondents said safety and security are the best reasons to own a cellular phone, and almost half of all cellular owners have used their phones to report car trouble, medical emergencies, crimes or drunk drivers.
 As these personal safety issues continue to push the number of cellular subscribers upward at a rate of 9,500 activations per day, Cellular One is working to heighten awareness of safety issues in Ohio during Cellular Safety Week from May 12-18. The purpose of Cellular Safety Week is not only to encourage subscribers to communicate emergency situations, but offer tips on using cellular safely while driving.
 "Cellular phones are a great tool to improve public safety and have become an indispensable guardian for personal safety by providing a vital link to law enforcement, emergency response teams and disaster relief," said Leigh Wood, CEO of Cellular One in Ohio and Michigan. "Used responsibly, these devices can help save lives and property. At the same time, the cellular industry recognizes our responsibility to promote safe driving and educate customers on the proper use of phones while driving a car."
 When Cincinnati resident Bridget Haggerty learned that her company was moving its offices further from her home, she bought a portable cellular phone to feel safe while driving her older vehicle. Her investment recently paid off during morning rush hour when her car broke down in the high-speed lane. "I pulled over as far as I could but I knew the car was sticking out," Haggerty said. "Cars were going by so fast, the car was shaking. Before I called for help, I got out of my car so that I knew people could see me. Within minutes, I could hear sirens and see flashing lights. The police patrol had already received five calls from passersby with cellular phones before I could call for help. After the police arrived and the towing service was called, I was able to call my office and my husband, all without interrupting communication between the police officer and his dispatcher."
 CTIA estimates that approximately 500,000 calls a month were made in 1992 to 9-1-1 and other emergency numbers throughout the United States.
 Wood said that one of the most important practices of those who drive while using cellular is to use the hands-free speakerphone, now standard on most new phone models. This allows drivers to keep both hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road during a conversation. She also offers a list of other practices that will help ensure the safest use of cellular communications among drivers:
 -- Make sure the phone is positioned where it is easy to see and reach while driving. If possible, it should be located within your peripheral vision.
 -- Use the memory dialing function on your phone. This allows you to dial frequently-called numbers by touching only two or three buttons.
 -- Dial only when stationary. When practical, handle calls when your car is not in motion. Wait for a traffic light or a stop sign, or safely pull off the road. If you must dial a full phone number while driving, dial the first few digits, then survey traffic before dialing the remaining digits. If you have a passenger with you, ask him or her to place the call.
 -- Familiarize yourself with the features and operations of the phone. Memorize the location of the buttons before you start driving and using the phone.
 -- Do not write while driving. If practical, stop your car in a safe location, or offer to return the call from a stationary location.
 -- Allow incoming calls to be picked up by your voice mailbox option. If driving in severe weather or heavy traffic, this allows you to retrieve the message later and respond when it is safe to do so.
 -- Reduce your driving speed while phoning without leaving the flow of traffic. Stay in the slow lane and pay particular attention to traffic conditions.
 -- If the conversation is complicated or emotional, make the call only when parked.
 -- Be a cellular Samaritan. Report crimes in progress, accidents, and other emergencies to the proper authorities. 9-1-1 should only be used during life-threatening emergencies, and for non-emergency state or local highway patrol assistance, Cellular One customers may dial (star)-H-E-L-P.
 A nationwide Cellular Safety Week blitz is being spearheaded by CTIA with promotional efforts including the distribution of video and radio announcements, customer bill inserts, public service announcements and posters at cellular retail outlets. Also among those marketing efforts, a 90-second video, "Cellular Means Safety," will be featured on 10,000 American Airlines flights and is expected to reach more than one million passengers.
 Cellular One in Ohio and Michigan is the largest contiguous cellular system in the country, encompassing more than 27,000 square miles.
 Cellular One owns, operates and provides cellular service in Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Saginaw/Bay City/Midland, Muskegon, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. In Ohio, Cellular One is the cellular service ncinnati, three RSAs, and three northern counties in Kentucky. In addition, Cellular One manages the RSA which includes Richmond and New Castle, Ind.
 -0- 4/23/93
 /CONTACT: Pam Miller, Manager of Corporate Public Relations, Cellular One, 513-543-6030; or Mary Yon of Martiny & Company, 513-489-4600, for Cellular One/


CO: Cellular One ST: Michigan, Ohio IN: TLS SU:

KL -- CL008 -- 9974 04/23/93 10:48 EDT
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Date:Apr 23, 1993
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