City of Tempe joining worldwide effort to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries

Tempe police hope drivers will take traffic safety more seriously with a new sign campaign.
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 5:36 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A smart, outgoing, respectful young man with a great sense of humor and a bright future ahead of him. That’s how friends and family describe 17-year-old Al Harris, the McClintock High School student who was killed in a wrong-way crash last year. His mother, Keona Moore, said the pain of his passing never goes away. “It is hard to believe that it happened,” said Moore. “I never would have thought in a million years that something like this would happen.”

Harris was one of 14 people killed in traffic crashes in Tempe in 2021. All of them will be honored this weekend with special signs placed at the scene where they died.

But the sign campaign is about more than just honoring victims. Tempe Police Lt. Michael Hayes said the signs are part of Vision Zero, a worldwide effort to reduce traffic deaths and serious injuries. The hope is that the signs will encourage people to change their driving habits. “We want them to look at these signs, collect their thoughts and say, ‘hey, I need to be safer and I need to travel slower,’” said Hayes. “We’re telling our children, telling our family, family members that the education process is sometimes more powerful than the enforcement component of this program.”

Moore said if the sign campaign can convince at least one driver to be less distracted, it could prevent another family from enduring the pain and suffering of losing a loved one. “Two seconds can take somebody’s life, so just be aware and be cautious and use common sense,” said Moore.