Malibu’s Main Street Remains Dangerous Thoroughfare

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A pedestrian crosses outside the crosswalk at Pacific Coast Highway at Las Flores Canyon Road in moderate traffic.

With seemingly constant construction vehicles on the road as western Malibu continues to rebuild from Woolsey and an increase in visitors as hot weather drags into the fall, more vehicles have been seen on roads and highways in Malibu. That increase in traffic has led to a marked increase in collisions, according to the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station.

Most of these incidents, unsurprisingly, occur on Pacific Coast Highway. In September, one fatal collision occurred over Labor Day Weekend, followed by two more traffic deaths in two days, from Sept. 15-16. 

The second fatal crash, on the early morning of Sept. 16, occurred when a driver who reportedly admitted to looking at a cell phone crashed into a construction worker who was making a legal crossing at PCH not far from the Malibu Pier. Lt. Jim Braden of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station later reported the driver was believed to have been going “approximately 70 to 73 miles an hour” in a 45 mph zone.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a contributing factor to traffic collisions can also be visitors who don’t know the area. 

CHP Public Information Officer Weston Haver was off duty on Monday, Oct. 18, and heard a crash near the Malibu Pier.

“When I’m not working, I’m a surfer and I was there when the collision occurred and me being a first responder, I made sure everyone was OK,” Haver said. “Speed wasn’t a factor in that collision, I would say more so in the area of Malibu, you get a lot of tourists that maybe don’t know what they’re doing. There are times where you get a lot of people that aren’t familiar with the area, so it isn’t always speeding.”

Haver said when he heard the crash, he spoke to the pedestrian who was a Pepperdine student and made sure they were OK until the fire department arrived.

The Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station encourages young drivers to be aware of speeding and traffic safety.

In September, a 16-year-old male was caught speeding at 133 mph, according to a Malibu/Lost Hills Facebook post. Speed limits in most canyons range from 45-55 mph. The driver was arrested for reckless driving and running a red light, and had his BMW impounded for 30 days.

“We recommend getting an app or device that monitors their speed or have a regulator installed in their vehicle,” the Facebook post says. “Luckily, the deputies stopped this teenager before anyone was injured or killed. Vehicles can be deadly, as we have seen over the past few months on PCH.” 

To stay informed on traffic incidents, the City of Malibu provides alerts and updates on vehicle collisions and road closures through email and alerts on social media.

The City of Malibu uses social networking platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Nextdoor, to inform the community as well as updates on red flag warnings, power outages and road closures.

For non-emergency law enforcement incidents, call the LA County Sheriff’s Department (Lost Hills Station) at 818.878.5559. To report an issue on the highway including unsafe driving call Highway Patrol at 818.888.0980.