Too many accidents

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From the Editor / Laura Tate

Another horrific accident has taken place on Pacific Coast Highway. Luckily, no one was killed. Tuesday morning, around 6 a.m., on Pacific Coast Highway near Decker Canyon Road, the driver of a Ferrari traveling at more than 100 mph, lost control of the vehicle and the car went up an embankment, severing a power pole and then ended up back on the highway, the car itself sheared in half. Two men were found uninjured standing next to the vehicle, both denying that they were the driver. Whoever was driving will hopefully be caught and prosecuted. Imagine if they had hit another car. Imagine that it was just an hour later when the road would have been full of cars with parents taking their children to school.

A constant thing I hear from people in the community is that we’ve got to do something about highway safety. People have to slow down, more manpower is needed from the local Sheriff’s station to catch speeders and drunk drivers, certain areas of the highway need lights, or more signs, or something. When Carol Randall’s son-in-law, Mark Osborne, was killed four years ago while washing off the driveway of her home on Pacific Coast Highway, she launched into action and got behind a movement to make the highway safer by doubling speeding fines (Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the latest version of a bill regarding this). After two cyclists were killed recently on the highway, again the community was in an uproar, demanding that the issue of speeding and safety on the highway be addressed.

The city of Malibu asked staff to work with the Public Safety Commission after Osborne’s death to come up with ideas to improve safety. Flashing traffic signs noting driving speeds were installed in 2004 as a way to slow down drivers, and Zumirez Drive at PCH was realigned to make the intersection safer. A traffic light will be installed at PCH and Corral Canyon. And there may be other projects in the works.

After the two bicyclists deaths, Sen. Sheila Kuehl called a meeting of the PCH Task Force to look into the issue of bicycle safety on our state highway. Meetings have been taking place regularly, the next on is March 1, 7 p.m. at City Hall.

But more needs to be done. Just a few weeks ago, someone was killed right outside our offices on Las Flores Canyon Road, and on Kanan-Dume, a driver died after the truck he was driving smashed into the mountainside near Pacific Coast Highway.

Some of these accidents are purely the fault of the drivers-speeding, drunk driving, ignoring the rules of the road-but no matter whose fault it is, the accidents too often end up in horrible injuries and death. Malibu is not that large a city, but its highway is deadly, and it seems an inordinate amount of accidents are taking place here. Maybe I notice them more because one of our jobs is to report them, but still, it’s too much.

We’ll be addressing the issue of traffic safety in Malibu in a series of upcoming articles. We’ll cover the safety meetings, question the authorities in charge of such issues and conduct statistical analyses of just how unsafe Malibu’s roads are. Maybe you, the readers, can participate by offering suggestions, attending the meetings and writing to representatives of our state.

In the meantime, here’s a partial list of headlines, in no particular order, on accidents we’ve covered in the past six years, as a reminder of what Malibu faces almost on a daily basis:

Injury accidents escalate on PCH

Four cars traveling on Pacific Coast Highway in the Carbon Beach area slammed into each other like … Aug. 22, 2001

Children killed in PCH accident

A devastating car accident killed three of four siblings, all age 13 or younger, Monday morning in Malibu, when the vehicle they were riding in, driven by their mother, slammed into the back of a parked big rig on Pacific Coast Highway at 5:50 a.m. Feb. 23, 2001

Pepperdine student dies in traffic accident

A series of tragic accidents involving local students occurred over the weekend. Mar. 7, 2002

PCH high-speed pursuit

Since 1997, 15 lives have been tragically lost in traffic accidents on PCH. Malibuites have become quite worried about highway safety. Dec. 30, 2002

Family grief doubles in fatal accident

A former San Diego resident who was in Malibu to attend his father-in-law’s funeral died Tuesday afternoon when he was struck by an out-of-control car on the southeast side of Pacific Coast Highway at Las Flores Beach. … Oct. 2, 2002

Seven accidents, seven days

Heavy rainfall, roadway debris and poor visibility and excessive speed in at least one case were to blame for seven traffic accidents in seven days. Mar. 8, 2001

Truck driver dies in Las Flores accident, 3rd in last few months

In yet another fatality, a driver of a three-axle roll-over trash truck died when his vehicle went off a 150-foot embankment along the 2700 block of Las Flores Canyon Road last Tuesday. Nov. 1, 2001

Locals killed in motorcycle accident

The two young men, graduates of Malibu High School, struck a sedan that allegedly made a turn in front of their motorcycle on Pacific Coast Highway. Nov. 16, 2005

Kanan crash kills driver, injures passenger

A driver of a 10-wheeled truck carrying 8,200 pounds of roof tiles was killed after losing control of the vehicle… Feb. 15, 2006

Death, injuries, closures plague PCH

Accidents on Pacific Coast Highway escalate over the weekend, including an apparent hit-and-run fatality, a crash involving the Malibu mayor’s son, another accident on Malibu Canyon Road Jun. 12, 2002

Two cyclists killed on PCH

The two victims were hit by a catering truck and pronounced dead at the scene. Sep. 14, 2005

PCH becoming highway of death

A horrendous accident last week, leaving one dead and another victim severely injured, as well as numerous other injury accidents on Pacific Coast Highway, has … Aug. 30, 2001

Malibu resident pulls victim from flaming car

A horrendous accident on Pacific Coast Highway ended in flames, with car parts strewn across four lanes of traffic, killing the passenger and leaving the driver in serious condition. Aug. 30, 2001

Tourists rescue victim from fiery car crash

A 22-year-old driver of a black BMW Z-3 Roadster was found lying by his burning vehicle and pulled to safety by a couple who were visiting from Tennessee. May 17, 2001

MHS coach dies in car crash

A coach for Malibu High School’s track and field, soccer and cross-country teams was killed in a car accident on his way to work last Thursday. Oct. 8, 2003

Pedestrian killed near Topanga

A fatal accident occurred Friday when a pedestrian, allegedly walking along Pacific Coast Highway north of Topanga Canyon Boulevard, was struck by a vehicle that first collided with a power pole… Jan. 25, 2001

2 teens killed on PCH

Sheriff’s Department officials believe the two pedestrians may have been “playing chicken” in high-speed traffic. Aug. 27, 2003

Deer Creek Beach crash victim presumed dead

Although no body has been found, a Ventura County Sheriff’s detective has concluded that 24-year-old Devin Goodman was killed Nov. 12 when his truck flipped over on Deer Creek Beach.Nov. 16, 2005