LAKEWOOD — Two pedestrians have already lost their lives in 2018 in this Ocean County township.

A tragedy on Christmas evening — also a pedestrian death — represented the town's 15th traffic fatality in 2017.

In response, Lakewood law enforcement and a number of groups have launched a safety campaign, reminding pedestrians of the steps they can take to stay safe when sharing the road with motor vehicles.

"We have a lot of foot traffic in and around our township, and a lot of these areas are dark and hard to see at night," said Lakewood Police Chief Gregory Meyer in an emailed statement to New Jersey 101.5. "We are primarily focusing on Cedar Bridge Avenue where we have had several fatalities, as well as our downtown area near Madison Avenue."

Steven Erenthal, a volunteer with Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch, said a key part of the campaign is pedestrian safety cards — printed in English, Spanish and Yiddish — that offer tips designed to reduce the number of collisions between vehicles and humans.

Screen shot of safety card being distributed in Lakewood
Screen shot of one of the safety cards being distributed in Lakewood (Lakewood Civilian Safety Watch)

Pedestrians are advised to pay attention; wear reflective clothing; and walk towards traffic, not away from it, among other tips.

"The idea behind it is to go into the main areas, the problem areas, and just hand out the cards to drivers and pedestrians," Erenthal said.

Chief Meyer said participating organizations will make it a point to hand out cards to anyone seen walking in a non-crosswalk, and to motorists who appear to be distracted.

Safety flyers have been posted in area stores as well.

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