A Lake Zurich motorist took time to review the video of his alleged red light ticket violation and was able to win his case. The camera had been placed at the intersection of South Rand Road and Illinois Highway 22 by the Village of Lake Zurich. On August 1, 2009, Kevin Mahanay made a right turn at that corner without stopping and received a $100 ticket in the mail for disregarding the red light at that intersection. Instead of doing what most citizens do when they receive such a ticket in the mail, which is to just mail in a check for $100, Kevin Mahanay actually took time to go to the web link referred to in the ticket he received and watched the video of his alleged violation. It turns out that enough leaves had grown on a tree in front of the camera that the view of the traffic light was obscured. Kevin requested a hearing and the hearing officer threw out the ticket because the leaves had obscured the view of the traffic light and he couldn't determine what color the light was when Kevin made the turn. Since earlier this year, 3,191 red light tickets have been issued by this camera. About one third of the tickets involve the right turn. When the problem of the leaves obscuring the camera became known to the village, the camera was turned off. It was turned off about a month after Kevin Mahanay received his ticket. It's unknown how many people simply paid the ticket without reviewing the video. This case serves as an important lesson to all.
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