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If you drive down Highway 163 or Interstate 5 in San Diego and glance skyward, you’ll see lots of pedestrian bridges with fences. Look closely and you might notice something unusual: the fences are quite high, sometimes well over six feet.

Why are the fences so tall? Because people kept hurtling rocks and blocks of concrete over the railings, injuring drivers below.

Longtime residents may remember the most horrific case, when two boys threw a six-pound concrete block from an I-5 overpass onto the windshield of a Corvette in 1988.

The impact fractured a passenger’s skull, sent him into a months-long coma and ended his career as an actor and model. Other motorists were seriously injured by debris, including several in 2000.

The California Department of Transportation responded by erecting fences on several overpasses. Judging from news reports, the problem seems to have faded away.

But Caltrans hasn’t put up any fences on the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge, where 236 people—and counting—have thrown themselves to their deaths. The railing is still just three feet tall.

I wrote about this topic last week in a series of stories:

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