YPD will not use speed cameras on 422, MLK


By Joe Gorman

jgorman@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The police department has decided against using its speed cameras on U.S. Route 422 and Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Police Chief Robin Lees said the decision was made after officers were able to curtail excessive speeding through “traditional methods,” such as using radar or having cruisers be more visible.

Lees said last month the department was considering using the cameras on the road because of an average of 10,000 extra vehicles per day that were funneled there from Girard because of road construction on Interstate 80.

The increased traffic has led to increased speeding, with some recorded speeds eclipsing 70 mph. The speed limit for the road is 35 mph.

However, Lees said the cameras, which record a vehicle’s speed and then take a picture of the license plate if the vehicle is traveling over the posted speed limit, will not have to be used there because the speeding has been cut down considerably.

The cameras have been used on Interstate 680, and Lees has credited them with cutting down speeding on that stretch of highway.

From the picture of the license plate, the city can then mail the owner of the vehicle a civil citation for a speeding violation. Lees said several citations have been written, and motorists seem to get the message that the department will be watching their speed.

“It did bring the overall speed down,” Lees said.

Lt. William Ross, head of the department’s traffic unit, said it was easier to cut down on speeding on Route 422 because the area’s problem was not as chronic as Interstate 680.

“It hadn’t become an entrenched problem like [Interstate] 680 was,” Ross said. “We were able to change the problem quickly.”

Lees said the department will continue to monitor the road, both with offices on patrol, on special details and speed monitors that are occasionally placed there.

Between Aug. 18, 2015, when the cameras began operation and this past Aug. 31, Youngstown police issued 14,379 citations with 9,122 people paying the civil fines. The penalties range from $100 to $150 depending on the speed

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