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Vodafone will continue to bring innovations like this to New Zealand so customers can make safer choices when they are travelling.

A unique smart messaging service that helps people to resist the temptation to drive and text at the same time has won Vodafone New Zealand and its technology partner Telsis a second joint global award for innovation.

Known as DriveSafe and offered free to all Vodafone New Zealand customers since February 2012, the latest service has already been praised by road safety groups and others in New Zealand.

Yesterday, the world’s premier telecommunications industry publication, Global Telecoms Business, presented Vodafone New Zealand and Telsis jointly with its annual Consumer Service Innovation Award. At last year’s ceremony, Vodafone and Telsis won the same award category with Blacklist, a network service that enables phone users to block malicious texts. All Telsis services run on the same platform, and all work on all handsets of all types and all ages.

Texting whilst driving is illegal in New Zealand and many other countries, and is known to increase the chances of a crash even more than alcohol.* While the phone user concentrates on driving safely, DriveSafe automatically replies to any text messages with a short operator-branded reply such as ‘I’m driving at the moment. I’ll read your text as soon as it is safe to do so.’

New Zealand Automobile Association motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon said “One of the worst things about texting and driving is that drivers know they shouldn’t do it but in many cases just can’t seem to stop themselves when they hear a message arrive. Vodafone DriveSafe is a simple tool that can help drivers to leave the phone alone. The driver can relax knowing the person who texted them has been sent a reply and, as a bonus, it is spreading the message that texting and driving are a potentially lethal mix.”

Vodafone New Zealand CEO Russell Stanners is delighted with the win. “Texting and driving is illegal and a hugely topical issue in New Zealand. We’re delighted to be recognised for our part in contributing to road safety, and Vodafone will continue to bring innovations like this to New Zealand so customers can make safer choices when they are travelling.”

Telsis Chairman and founder Jeff Wilson said the award highlighted the way in which smart SMS network services could generate multiple wins for operators. “With Blacklist and now DriveSafe, Vodafone has taken positive steps to help protect its customers and others. At the same time it has differentiated itself from its competitors and generated valuable publicity for its brand.”

Presenting the award, Alan Burkitt-Gray, editor of Global Telecoms Business, commented: “The Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards were created to acknowledge and celebrate the ways in which the telecommunications industry uses innovation. It is especially pleasing to be able to present Telsis and Vodafone New Zealand with this year's Consumer Service Innovation Award for the launch of with DriveSafe following their win of the same award last year with Blacklist. Both services show how operators can use social responsibility initiatives to enhance peoples' lives while at the same time generating significant commercial paybacks."

For further information about the Global Telecoms Business Innovation awards:

Telsis has delivered service innovations to communications service providers globally for almost a quarter of a century. The company’s solutions enable operators to generate more revenue, strengthen their brands, recruit and retain more customers, drive up Net Promoter Scores and increase profitability.

Telsis’ portfolio of services is backed by proven engineering skills, system integration expertise, and a deep understanding of human factors, all of which combine in solutions that enable operators to offer customers exciting and practical services with compelling real-world appeal.

*Studies by The RAC Foundation, University of Otago, Virginia Tech Transport Institute and others.


Further editorial information:
Telsis – Sarah Ford + 44 (0) 1489 760000
Sage Partnership – Kevin Fiske +44 (0) 1189 344007

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of The Sage Partnership in the following categories: Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit