SUMMIT, NJ - The tradition of Boy Scouts helping elderly women cross the street is immortalized in American culture, hearkening back to simpler times in almost Rockwellian fashion.
The Boy Scout Handbook contains, per scoutstuff.org, an entry -- circa 1911 -- which states:
"Help an old lady across the street; remove a banana skin from the pavement so that people may not fall; remove from streets or roads broken glass, dangerous to automobile or bicycle tires; give water to a thirsty horse; or deeds similar to these."
Russell McIlwain, as part of his project to become an Eagle Scout, took this directive to a broader level using technology a bit more modern than the handbook.
McIlwain, a senior at Oratory Preparatory School, worked with Summit Police Department Chief Robert Weck and Lieutenant David Richel to create a video to promote pedestrian safety and overall awareness both drivers and pedestrians alike.
The goal of the video is a simple one: greatly increase the chances to keep people from being injured. The video mixes facts, interviews with a Summit woman injured while out running, and video reminders of potential pedestrian dangers.
Between 2010-2014 in Summit, 86 individuals were struck by moving vehicles resulting in four deaths. Since 2012, there have been no fatalities due, in large part, to pro-active public education and enforcement efforts by the Summit Police Department.
The video is quick to point out that the responsibility for pedestrian safety is a shared one, necessitating a commitment by both drivers and those on foot.
McIlwain achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in October of 2015.
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