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For week ended December 12, 1999 Posted 18 Dec 1999

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Safety urged at temple display

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Safety urged at temple display
(Phoenix) AZ Republic 8Dec99 D1
By Chuck Hawley: The Arizona Republic

MESA, ARIZONA -- Those visiting the Mesa Arizona Temple to see the 500,000 Christmas Lights decorating the building and grounds should use common sense, and not be so dazzled by the display that they don't take normal precautions. Last year Susan Conser-Hughes was injured when she crossed the street while looking at the lights.

"I should have been dead," said Conser-Hughes, 49. She was struck by a car when she tried to cross Main Street midblock to visit the temple. "My whole right side was broken, every bone." Because she and her companions were jaywalking, the driver of the car was not cited."Yes, we erred, but I want to make it very, very clear that my concern is with traffic control and with safety," she said.

Mesa police say that while pedestrian traffic in the area is heavier than normal, it isn't considered a serious problem. "We monitor that area, but we don't apply any extra patrol unless we see a problem," says Mesa police traffic supervisor Lt. Lou Digirolamo. "As it gets closer to Christmas, we monitor it more closely but we've never put an officer there."

Digirolamo says that the problems generally don't happen at the crosswalks, and suggests that pedestrians avoid taking chances when crossing to see the Temple, "The bottom line is, cross lawfully. Cross with the signal," he said.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information