CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — State police in Centre County are addressing what they said is a surge in deadly crashes. It comes after two happened on Route 64 (Nittany Valley Drive) in Walker Township over the past week.

“Of the 36 fatal crashes in Troop G’s area, 24 of the individuals that were fatalities were people not wearing seatbelts,” said Trooper Christopher Fox.

Trooper Fox said injuries as a result of not wearing a seatbelt are preventable 100% of the time.

“We just want to ensure that people are always wearing seatbelts when they’re out in the commonwealth, on the highways and roadways, because the end of the day I think that we’ve shown that there’s a direct correlation,” said Trooper Fox.

There’s 32.7 miles of public roads in Walker Township and Nittany Valley Drive is the main roadway. Walker Township Board of Supervisors Member James Heckman said he sees all too many people speeding.

“There’s straight stretches in this area, they’re passing intersections when they shouldn’t be,” said Heckman. “I don’t know exactly how many calls the fire companies ran so far this year for accidents, but I would say close to 12, 13, 14 already and we’re only in April.” 

In addition to promoting wearing a seatbelt, Heckman said the township has previously spoken with PennDOT about a speed reduction and they’re hoping to continue the conversation.

Trooper Fox said this is all part of a larger trend. Over the last three years, there’s been a 20% increase in fatal crashes across Troop G’s seven counties.

“We always try to enforce seatbelt safety because it’s such an important part of people remaining safe in the event of a collision,” said Fox.