It's been nearly a year since Youngstown city police began to use speed cameras on Interstate 680 to help issue speeding violations.

Speed camera enforcement began on July 24th of last year as a way to reduce speed and in turn reduce accidents on this stretch of highway.

Speed has always been a problem on 680.  The posted limit in the city is 50. 

Youngstown city officials said in 2015 they needed speed cameras in the interest of public safety.

Critics claimed it was just a way for the city to grab some quick cash.

Police Chief Robin Lees says after about a year of enforcement, the cameras have indeed reduced accidents. 

"We're tracking behind previous years numbers so we're confident it's going to have the effect we're looking for for the reduction of accidents," says Lees.

Since the city started collecting fines on August 18th they've collected $469,000.

All the money goes to the purchase of new equipment for the department. "The total station crime scene mapping device was a $30,000 price tag. I have a new prisoner transport vehicle on order which is a $50,000 price tag on that," says Lees.

Two new K-9 cruisers are also on order.

since the speed cameras are also being used in school zones, new flashing lights will be installed in many school zone areas that do not have them.

The police chief also says the cameras even make it safer for his police officers because they don't have to pull cars over and get out of their cruisers on a busy highway and risk getting hit.

Lees says his department will release exact accident stats and fines collected in August.