Beaches on Sanibel Island reopened
The City of Sanibel has reopened Lighthouse Beach Park as well as Causeway Beach, along with its associated parking lots, to the public.
The reopening of the beach around the Sanibel Island Lighthouse, on the eastern tip of the island, was celebrated with cheers.
From Bradenton to Anna Maria by ferry
Operated by Gulf Coast Water Taxi, the ferry service by catamaran, is to operate between the Bradenton Riverwalk and Anna Maria Island. On Anna-Maria, service will be provided to the Anna Maria City Pier, Bridge Street Pier and Coquina South Boat Ramp. Fares are expected to be $8 for adults and children 12 and older; seniors pay $6; children ages 3 to 11 pay $5; children under 3 are free.
Scheduled ferry times are every hour between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday.
Quick note: Texting in cars banned in Florida since July
What has been the case in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for some time now also applies to Florida as of this July: Anyone who sends e-mails or text messages while driving must expect a fine. As reported by the Auto Club Group (ACG), which is part of the American Automobile Association (AAA), drivers who are caught writing messages on their cell phones while driving have to expect a fine of at least $30 since July 1, provided they used their hands while doing so. Repeated violations of the ordinance each carry a $60 fine and up to three points on the traffic offender record, provided they have a U.S. driver’s license. The only exceptions are for emergencies such as notifying the police of traffic accidents, weather warnings or emergency medical calls.
In contrast, hand-held cell phone use while driving will not be banned in Florida until October 1 and only at intersections in front of schools, in school zones or zones where construction work is taking place. For comparison: In Germany, any use of a cell phone while driving with a hand is subject to a fine of at least 100 euros and a point in Flensburg.
As in Germany, sending text messages via voice input is still permitted. However, the AAA recommends that this should not be done, as it also leads to distraction from traffic and thus increases the risk of accidents. For example, a car traveling at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour covers a distance equivalent to the length of three football fields in just 27 seconds. According to a survey by AAA, more than 390,000 injuries and 3,500 deaths occur each year in the U.S. as a result of distracted driving.