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Deaths of Pepperdine students sparks calls for increased safety at Malibu city council meeting

It was a packed city council meeting in Malibu on Monday as concerned residents called for increased safety measures on Pacific Coast Highway following the deaths of four Pepperdine University students in a crash last week.

Constituents spoke out about the need for more enforcement, speed cameras and maybe even a redesign of PCH altogether in its stretch through Malibu.

“Why does it take something like this for anybody in the city to do anything? Why,” one frustrated speaker said when she took the podium.

The meeting was motivated by the tragic deaths of 21-year-old Deslyn Williams, 21-year-old Asha Weir, 20-year-old Niamh Rolston and 21-year-old Peyton Steward – four seniors at Pepperdine who were killed Oct. 17. A driver lost control while traveling westbound on PCH, striking three parked vehicles that then hit the group of young women.

“Asha Weir spoke to me just six days before the crash,” one man at the city council meeting said. “She was going to babysit my 3.5-month-old daughter. She was the only one me and my wife would trust. She was just that pure, that good, that full of joy.”

Others who attended the meeting spoke of their own personal loss on Malibu’s roadways.

“You know what they told me when my son drove over the mountain and died instantly? ‘If you would have had a guardrail.’ How much is a guardrail,” one grief-stricken mother said.

Many in the crowd were upset that Malibu no longer has a sheriff’s station. They said patrolling and enforcement are virtually nonexistent.

The city council ensured the crowd it was doing everything to make real change. At the city’s urging, the California Transportation Agency is seeking increased CHP patrol in Malibu to help stop speeding and street racing. The city is also working with the governor’s office to get the newly approved speed cameras installed.


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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