Youngstown officers prepared to get tough with speeders on 422

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown police are increasing speed enforcement on the stretch of Route 422 coming out of Girard and into Youngstown.

They say drivers are going too fast and officers are prepared to get tough in order to slow them down, which could mean using speed cameras.

“In an effort to avoid the inevitable crashes or accidents we might have, we’re going to increase enforcement out there,” Chief Robin Lees said.

He says the problem starts in Girard, where both entrance ramps onto Interstate 80 are closed. The detour is south on Route 422, over the 711 bridge, onto I-680 and back to 80.

“Folks roll up there expecting to get on at that ramp and when they realize it’s closed, now they have to make up time,” Lees said.

For a while, Youngstown police set up radar speed signs and discovered that 10,000 cars a day are now using the stretch of road.

The speed limit is only 35 mph, but some vehicles have been driving up to 70 mph.

Lees says officers will start with the basics and if that doesn’t work, they’ll bring out the speed cameras.

“We’re going to have officers out there with the conventional enforcement, using radar and laser devices. By Monday, if we don’t see a decrease in the speed, we’re going to start to employ the traffic cameras.”

Youngstown has used its manned traffic cameras primarily on I-680 through the city.

“Our experience on 680 in particular has been that it will decrease speed, it will reduce the number of accidents and it will make the highway safer,” Lees said.

It’s going to be a while before both of the Girard entrance ramps reopen. The eastbound ramp should be done by December but the westbound ramp will be closed until October of next year.