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California Launches Effort to Keep Californians Safe Along Dangerous Pacific Coast Highway Corridor

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: State and local leaders are joining forces to address reckless and illegal driving behavior that too often turns deadly along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

MALIBU – Since 2010, 59 people have lost their lives along a 21-mile stretch of California’s iconic Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu. But a renewed effort the state is launching aims to change that.

As part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s efforts to build more, faster, the dangerous stretch of highway is getting a safety makeover with infrastructure upgrades, increased traffic enforcement and a new public education campaign. The effort adds to work the state is already doing to shore up sections of Highway 1 that continue to be impacted by storms.

Near the Ghost Tire Memorial honoring the 59 lives lost to car crashes, the Newsom Administration and local leaders detailed ongoing efforts to make the corridor safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists. Officials also unveiled a new “Go Safely PCH” campaign.

“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.”

Governor Gavin Newsom

INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADES:

  • Caltrans is investing $4.2 million for multiple safety upgrades to PCH infrastructure, including:
    • lane separators to prevent vehicles from drifting into oncoming traffic or making illegal turns,
    • crosswalk striping at all locations for increased visibility for drivers and pedestrians,
    • more visible road striping, and more speed limit and curve warning signs.

INCREASED ENFORCEMENT:

  • Beginning in January, the city of Malibu approved a contract with the California Highway Patrol to add three full-time officers to help the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) with traffic enforcement on PCH in Malibu for the first time since 1991. The support from CHP officers has resulted in more than 1,200 citations through April, more than 1,000 of which were for speeding.
  • The California Office of Traffic Safety provided $555,000 in additional funding to LASD, Los Angeles Police Department and Santa Monica Police Department for increased enforcement on PCH.

“GO SAFELY PCH” EDUCATION CAMPAIGN:

  • The new education campaign is alerting drivers of the increased law enforcement presence and reminding them to slow down on PCH or face the consequences. These messages are being shared on billboards, lawn and beach signs, flyers, posters and on social media.
  • Californians are encouraged to take a traffic safety pledge and commit to practicing safe driving behaviors when visiting beaches, parks, shops and restaurants along PCH.
  • Safety updates, campaign pledges and digital assets are available on a new website, GoSafelyPCH.org.