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What Else Comes Along With Fall Weather? New Laws and Hurricane Season Prep
As we head into the last month of summer, the weather will soon cool down, which means more walks for me and my dog, Dillon! While I’m excited to enjoy the cooler autumn weather, there are other changes upon us that everyone in the Bay Harbor community should be aware of: Texting while driving is now a primary penalty, and hurricane season is right around the corner. Texting and Driving Laws Carry a Stiffer Penalty The recent law change on texting and driving will be in full effect on Oct. 1. If a police officer sees you texting while driving, they now can issue a citation just for that alone. It used to be that if you were pulled over for something else, you could get an additional citation for texting and driving. The police officer had to initially pull you over for an unrelated infraction, though. It became a primary penalty on July 1, but on Oct. 1, it takes full effect with the broader stipulation of a ban on all hand-held cellphone use while driving in school zones. The good news is the base fee for a citation like this remains the same. Thankfully, for those of us who still sneak in a text or two at a red light, most Florida police departments are showing leniency as we get used to this new law— warning citations will be given out until Jan. 1.
Hurricane Season Preparation: Don’t Forget Pets! Because I’ve grown up in the area, hurricane season isn’t as worrisome for me as it can be for others new to Florida. I became accustomed to a hurricane knocking everything down every few years. South Florida didn’t have the resources it does today, so it made for some stressful times. During Hurricane Rita, for example, we didn’t have electricity and school was out for a week. Now, everyone can buy a generator and hurricane-proof windows. If you live in an apartment, reach out to a friend or family member in the area who lives in a house and ask if you can stay with them in the event of an evacuation or just for safe measure.
I live in an apartment, and the last place I want to be is 30 stories high when a hurricane rolls through. Dillon and I typically stay at my family’s house when a hurricane is on the way. Never leave your dog alone in your residence during this time. For most people, the thought of leaving behind a beloved pet is untenable, but, sadly, the number of dogs that shelters receive after a hurricane is staggering, and they can’t handle them all. Shelters here still euthanize, so take your pets with you if at all possible. Fall is bringing lots of changes that everyone in the area should be aware of. If you are new to the area or just need some more tips and tricks for the fall season, feel free to stop by the office! I love welcoming people to the community, and I’m happy to help you get the most out of our lovely Bay Harbor area.
“I became accustomed to a hurricane knocking everything down every few years. South Florida didn’t have the resources it does today, so it made for some stressful times.”
-Pro sper Shaked
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