St. Paul, Minn. December 16, 2003 ? In an effort to promote awareness and safety among young drivers, Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) announced today it will provide free drivers' safety kits to students who participate in drivers' education programs at high schools throughout Minnesota. This month, students at 15 high schools across the state will receive the kits.
While all drivers deal with roadway hazards and everyday distractions, it is clear that inexperienced drivers are at risk. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of fatal crashes involving young drivers increased 12 percent over the last 10 years.
The Qwest drivers' safety kits contain many of the fundamental items that a driver might need when faced with a roadside emergency, including a thermal safety blanket, a flashlight, an emergency water supply, a distress sign and a first-aid kit. "When new teenage drivers take the wheel, a very real need exists to provide them with safety tools and instructions that will help them handle the responsibilities of the road on their own," said John Stanoch, Qwest?s Minnesota state president. "Qwest is proud to support drivers' education programs and new drivers by providing complimentary Qwest safety kits."
"Anything that can be done to promote safe driving among our young people is welcomed by the Department of Public Safety? said Rich Stanek, Minnesota public safety commissioner. ?The sad reality is that the leading cause of death for Minnesotans between the ages of 15 and 17 is traffic crashes. Keeping our kids safe and responsible on the roads is of the utmost importance to all of us."
In addition to the 10,000 kits distributed to drivers' education students, Qwest is offering additional complimentary kits to new teen drivers across the region. To request a Qwest drivers' safety kit, consumers may call 1-888-424-0015.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 47,000 employees are committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.
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