An Eagle Scout Project completed last month in Orland Park was dedicated to the safety of the many local pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. The Life Scout, Joe Boyce took a page from similar initiatives around the world which have resulted in marked reductions in pedestrian accidents by making pedestrians more visible to those around them.
The Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC work with numerous cases involving accidents where the driver didn’t see the pedestrian due to factors such as weather, distraction and lack of daylight. We are sure that this initiative is sure to save lives and believe that more communities should adopt similar programs.
Safety Initiative Using Intersection Flags
Orland Park’s Mayor, Dan McLaughlin read about a program used across the world to reduce the number of traffic accidents involving pedestrians by making those pedestrians more visible to drivers regardless of the time of day or weather. He knew that it would only be a matter of time before the Boy Scouts would approach the city for ideas on Eagle Scout projects, as every scout looking to attain the rank of Eagle must complete a community project for a school, religious organization or local government body. When Joe Boyce approached the mayor and was given the idea, he ran with it.
Troop 318 produced flags, buckets and signs to be placed at high volume intersections so that people could use those flags to cross the street and deposit them on the other side. The concept makes pedestrians visible to motorists by providing a reflective and luminescent object that is at an elevated height where drivers are more likely to notice. During adverse weather, this can make pedestrians stand out where they would have otherwise blended into the background.
Joe Boyce organized more than 35 Boy Scouts and a dozen community leaders for the project. It required a considerable fundraising effort to acquire the money needed to purchase materials, but local businesses and charity organizations were happy to contribute to the effort, which was fueled through an online fundraising campaign.
The Eagle Scout program is the last requirement scouts need to meet before earning the prestigious rank of Eagle. There are 21 merit badges and six ranks to complete before a scout can be considered for Eagle. The project is meant to display the candidate’s ability as a leader and problem solver as well as to promote personal sacrifice and charity.
Program Success Inspires Expansion Plans
The flags, buckets and signs have received positive feedback from businesses and community members, prompting the village government to announce plans for expanding the program. Currently, buckets and flags are installed at the high volume intersections of 143rd and Beacon Avenue, Fun Drive and West Avenue, 149th and Ravinia Avenue and Wheeler and Hemlock Drives. Signs accompany the materials explaining what they are used for and how to use them properly.
Joe Boyce’s fundraising page and the village’s social media account were flooded with compliments on the program, prompting the mayor to consider expanding it in the near future. It is our hope as Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys that more communities in the Chicago area notice this initiative and choose to implement similar measures.
Visibility Continues to be a Safety Concern
As we prepare for the coming winter season, we need to be more mindful of making ourselves visible when walking across busy streets. Rain, snow and ice aren’t only contributors to increased stopping distances and driver error, but can make it difficult to see other people and vehicles. Those wearing dark colors at night are more likely to be struck by vehicles and white clothing during snowy weather can make pedestrians blend in.
Rather than requiring everyone to wear fluorescent clothing when walking outdoors, providing crossing flags could be an easy and appealing solution. There are communities all over the nation currently implementing these programs, so we encourage you to mention the idea to your own town’s officials if your city is not among those considering the measure.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a leading personal injury law firm in the Chicago area and we support measures that will make our communities safer places to drive, walk and bike. We understand that accidents happen despite these good intentions and are committed to helping victims recover the compensation they need to pay for their medical care and other financial considerations throughout their recoveries.
If you have been injured in an accident, we would like to invite you to arrange a free case review with one of our award-winning Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys. Once we’ve had the opportunity to review the details of your case, we can review your legal options with you so that you know what to expect and can make an educated decision on how to proceed. We operate solely on a contingency basis, so our consultations are free and we guarantee that our services are free unless we can successfully secure compensation on your behalf.