MALIBU (CBS) — Getting Southern California drivers to slow down may be a good job for a dummy and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is testing that theory along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

Drivers on the PCH have started to spot more sheriffs’ cars lining the famous lane, but some of the officers cannot give out tickets. That is because one deputy happens to be a dummy — literally.

The Malibu Lost Hills Sheriff Station declined an on-camera interview or to give specifics, saying it defeated the purpose.

But they did say they are clearly meant to curb speeding drivers on busy portions of the PCH — one of the nation’s most dangerous highways with a history of fatal crashes.

“You know the accidents that have been here, it’s horrible. I suppose it’s a good idea, but I think here people are stopping so much to look at him, it’s going to create another accident,” said local resident Diane Kieffer.

“I thought it was pretty silly to be honest. But it’s actually a good idea. If they’ve got extra cars and nobody using, why not?” said Heather Manes of Malibu.

“The locals know what is happening, but when you get heavy beach traffic over the weekends, they don’t know and I think it does slow down just a little bit,” George Kieffer of Malibu said.

A council woman on the Public Safety Committee said they had six fatal crashes along the roadway last year.

Although the department uses several dummies along the PCH, they said that drivers should expect to see more real deputies patrolling this holiday weekend.

Comments (4)
  1. Duh! says:

    So they bought too many patrol cars and now have to come up with a method to use the cars?

    Couldn’t the money have been spent on more officers?

  2. Brian says:

    It is a good idea, and not unique. Other agencies have used this strategy and it works. Cost is minimal, definitely not a wast of tax payer money, and the potential benefit to the community is tremendous. The bottom line is that it is helpful, particularly for visitors to the area.

  3. Dave says:


    The cars they use are salvage vehicles. Perhaps a bit of research on your part is in order. These cars cost them nothing.

  4. jeff says:

    The car it self will slow people down. With the dummy in it, people are stopping causing traffic hazards.

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