MALIBU—On Thursday, January 25, 2024, the city of Malibu announced on its website they approved a long-term contract with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to establish a dedicated three-officer traffic enforcement taskforce to patrol Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) within City Limits.
According to the city’s website, on January 22, 2024, the Malibu City Council approved the contract for the term of two years, with a financial commitment not to exceed $2 million.
“Active, visible traffic enforcement is one of the most immediate ways to make PCH safer, and will send a message that speeding and reckless driving will not be tolerated in Malibu. Despite PCH being under Caltrans jurisdiction, the City remains committed to doing everything possible within its jurisdictional ability to make PCH safer,” the city stated on its website.
The Malibu City Council declared a local state of emergency on November 13, 2023, in response to the increasing dangerous conditions on PCH, culminating in the deaths of four Pepperdine students struck by a speeding motorist while walking along PCH in October 2023.
The city of Malibu is focused on improving safety on its 21 miles of PCH, which has been a top priority for the community. The city of Malibu does not control PCH, since its incorporation, but has worked closely with Caltrans, the LA County Sheriff’s Department and other partner agencies to find ways to make PCH safer for residents, motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
According to the City Council Agenda Report, the CHP stopped patrolling Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in Malibu in 1991 when the city was incorporated, and the city contracted for law enforcement in Malibu with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD). In 2020, Malibu secured a contract with CHP for On-Call Services for special events, but for the past two years, CHP has been unable to fulfill any requests for assistance.
According to a CHP press report, they have about 1,000 vacant officer positions across the state. CHP attributes the staffing issues to a variety of factors, including increasing retirement rates, job preferences in the private sector, and societal influence; similar issues are facing LASD.