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Structural upgrades announced for dangerous stretch of PCH

On Behalf of | May 24, 2024 | Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Anyone who has driven up the coast a bit to Malibu knows how busy (and potentially dangerous) that stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) can be. Last fall, it was the scene of a tragic crash that killed four young women who were seniors at Pepperdine University, which overlooks PCH. The 22-year-old man who was charged in the fatal crash was driving his BMW at 104 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone, according to police. 

That crash revived residents’ calls to increase law enforcement presence and make structural changes to deter speeding and other reckless driving behaviors on a road that’s both a regular route for locals and a popular site for tourists. In the past 14 years, nearly 60 people have been killed in a 21-mile stretch of PCH.

This month, state and local leaders announced plans for greater traffic enforcement and structural upgrades. These will include barriers to separate traffic traveling in opposite directions and improvements to increase crosswalk visibility. Caltrans is set to spend over $4 million on these improvements. It will also make repairs and shore up sections of the road damaged by heavy rains to help prevent such damage in the future.

Speeding is by far the most common traffic violation

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has already assigned officers to help the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) enforce traffic laws. This has resulted in a whopping 1,200 traffic citations in the first four months of this year. The vast majority were for speeding.

The goal is to make PCH safer not just for motorists, but for the bicyclists and pedestrians who regularly use the road. Gov. Gavin Newsom said, The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most iconic drives in California, if not the world. But far too many have lost their lives along this corridor. We’re taking action with innovative safety upgrades and increased enforcement that will save lives.”

As we move into summer, with kids out of school and more vacationers up and down the coast, scenic roads and not-so-scenic freeways will all see more traffic. If you’re the victim of a reckless or negligent driver, it’s crucial to ensure that you don’t settle for less than the compensation you need for medical bills and other expenses and damages.

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