The Lakewood office of the Rothenberg Law Firm met today with multiple elected, law enforcement, and community safety officials to discuss its new initiative to provide the Lakewood community reflective belts in an effort to ensure that nighttime pedestrians are visible to motorists.
As one of the most congested townships in New Jersey and the general region, Lakewood’s roads are precarious for pedestrians even in daytime, and particularly after sundown, when many of its streets are blanketed in darkness. This hazard is exponentially acute in the winter months, when the sun sets early and a large number of pedestrians – including many children – are still outdoors.
Due to the above and other factors, Lakewood’s roads have proven perilous for pedestrians; in 2022, more than 100 pedestrians have been struck by vehicles, with over a dozen of the incidents occurring in the last month alone.
To reverse this trend, the Rothenberg Law Firm, an industry leader in personal injury litigation, invited local officials and agencies to participate at a roundtable discussion of traffic and safety issues affecting the Lakewood community. Those present at the meeting included Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles; Lakewood Police Chief Greg Meyer, Lakewood Police Sergeant Frank Work; Lakewood Police Detective Sergeant Jeannette Shimonivich; Lakewood Police Patrolman Alex Guzman; Lakewood Police Sergeant Ken Burdge; Lakewood Shomrim representatives; and attorneys from the Rothenberg Law Firm.
In addition to the various traffic and safety issues discussed at the roundtable, representatives of the Rothenberg Law Firm rolled out its Reflector Initiative, in which it will be donating thousands of personal reflectors to Lakewood residents free of charge, with the goal of achieving 100% participation among pedestrians in the coming months.
As part of the unprecedented safety push, all participating officials and agencies committed to working collaboratively to get the reflective gear into the hands of all Lakewood residents.
The free reflectors are now being made available to walk-ins at the Rothenberg Law Firm (300 Boulevard of the Americas, Suite 100), and will be handed out to pedestrians by members of the Lakewood Police Department’s Traffic and Safety Unit and Lakewood Shomrim. The reflectors will also be available for pickup at the Lakewood Municipal Building (231 3rd Street).
“As the fourth-largest city in New Jersey, and with one of the youngest populations in the entire United States, Lakewood has unique challenges when it comes to keeping pedestrians safe,” Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles said. “Through this initiative, the Rothenberg Law Firm has shown that when it comes to residents’ safety, they put their money where their mouth is.”
“On behalf of the Lakewood Police Department, I would like to thank the Rothenberg Law Firm for their generous and lifesaving donation to the community,” said Lakewood Police Chief Greg Meyer. “As the winter arrives, it is crucial that pedestrians wear reflective gear to ensure they are visible to motorists. These reflectors will literally save lives.”
“As a personal injury law firm, we are deeply and personally aware of the hazards pedestrians face on poorly-lit roadways, and this is our way to proactively assist Lakewood residents stay safe and to give back to this beautiful community,” said Mr. Ross Rothenberg, a partner at the Rothenberg Law Firm.
“Lakewood Shomrim members are confronted on a nightly basis with the reality that far too many Lakewood pedestrians are lacking personal reflectors, placing them at unnecessary risk of injury. We are grateful for this initiative and eagerly look forward to the day when wearing reflective gear is second nature to Lakewood pedestrians,” said Shomrim Coordinator Pinny Werner.
“It is beyond tragic to hear of the countless preventable injuries that pedestrians suffer due to their not being visible to drivers,” said Mrs. Beth Rothenberg Halperin, a partner at the Rothenberg Law Firm. “The reflectors we are making available free of charge can quite literally be the difference between life and death.”