The Northwest Florida Daily News reports the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport and Uber are closer to an agreement where Uber will be able to pick-up and drop-off individuals at the airport. Currently, Uber can only drop people off at the airport, they cannot pick them up. The problem is that Uber doesn't fit the mold of the county authorized ground transportation. "(Uber drivers) can drop off all day long," Okaloosa County Airports Director Tracy Stage reports "... But in order to pick up passengers, you must be within the current county ordinance." That ordinance limits for-hire ground transportation at county airports to registered taxicabs, which have to meet several requirements including passing a background check, vehicle inspection, purchasing and displaying a $400 permit and holding at least $300,000 in bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. Stage said the airport wants to accommodate Uber, but must also be fair to taxicab drivers. "We want to present the most level playing field," he said, adding that the airport has met with taxi drivers to explain the Uber plan. "No one is allowed to circumvent the ordinance." In late 2015, the county began talks with Uber and now the two sides are moving closer to an agreement. Under the proposal, the airport would set aside two parking spaces for "transportation network companies" in its cell phone lot. In return, Uber and other similar companies would pay the airport $2.50 per pickup, Stage said. "When a passenger comes into the airport and requests an Uber pickup, the car in the number one spot will proceed to the front curb," he said. He predicts those drivers, who will operate on a first-in, first-out basis, will stay extremely busy. "We're excited about it because it's such a high demand from our passengers," he said. "And we want to meet that demand." Stage said he hopes to present the proposal to County Commissioners in the coming weeks, but he's waiting for confirmation that Uber representatives will be able to attend the meeting to answer questions from the board and the public.
Kidsandcars.org is a non-profit child safety organization dedicated to preventing injuries and death to children in or around motor vehicles. An expert from KidsandCars.org visited with the hosts of NBC's TODAY show last month. Their topic centered on a potential danger to children wearing winter coats while strapped into their car seats. At an official crash test lab in Michigan, a child dummy that appeared to be securely strapped into a car seat came hurtling out of the motor vehicle during a crash simulation at 30-mph. As a parent, I would not have even thought it possible to be ejected from a child's car seat. The winter months are upon us and we should all be made aware of the potential risks associates with having your child leave their winter coat on in the car. When a child is wearing a winter coat, it may feel like they are strapped snugly into a car seat when the straps are actually dangerously loose. Experts say to strap your child securely in their car seat without their coat. Instead of putting the coat on your child, you can put the coat over the child to keep him/her warm, or you can use a blanket. This advice even applies to adults. Experts say they shouldn't wear their winter coats when they're behind the wheel or riding in a car.
Do snowbirds need separate insurance when traveling to Florida for the winter season? According to Florida law, the no-fault law requires owners of motor vehicles that have been the state for at least 90 consecutive days or 90 non- consecutive days during the past 365 days to purchase a policy delivered or issued for delivery for Florida. The minimum coverage is: $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP)and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL). So as a snowbird, that would cause some confusion and according to an article in the Boston Globe - it did. Mainly because their (Massachusetts) state auto insurance regulations exceeds those limits. In actuality, the state where the snow bird originally resides is what auto policy that would cover any issues during their stay in Florida, This is also affirmed by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulations who states that a snow bird's home state auto policy is sufficient as long as it meets the minimum requirements of Florida requirements.
A 21-year-old Freeport man was critically injured in a car crash in Destin early Friday morning. The rear-end crash happened around 3:15 a.m. near 34884 Emerald Coast Parkway, east of Matthew Boulevard, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office. The Freeport man was driving a Honda Civic. He rear-ended an Infiniti driven by a 41-year-old man from Katy, Texas, the Sheriff's Office said. He was extricated from the car and taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center with critical injuries, the Sheriff's Office said. The hospital said Friday afternoon that he remained in critical condition. The other driver was not injured, although some of the passengers in the Infiniti were taken to Destin Emergency Care after the crash.
Crab Island is a popular sandbar to go to and is probably one of the most beautiful places in Destin. During the summer, you see hundreds, or even thousands of boats carrying people to Crab Island to anchor in the shallow water and enjoy the scenery. According to Deputy Daryl Culberson of the County Sheriff's Marine Division, that's where a lot of the tourists go. They want to see the beauty of the water but in reality, that beautiful hides many hidden dangers. Culberson told WEAR Channel 3 "They're not thinking that the really nice area that looks so great, that I just anchored up in ankle deep water is dangerous, and it could kill you if you're not careful. They're not listening to that. They only see what they see and unfortunately it gets them in trouble some times." Most of those who find themselves in trouble are around the edge of the sandbar, where the depth of the water can increase very quickly. There are other things that can surprise people in that area. The tides that cross Crab Island can also overpower swimmers. This is when they panic, start to struggle and end up drowning after tiring out. Another thing Culbertson sees which leads to needing to be rescued - swimmers chasing down cheap rafts. Since May, two swimmers, a 20-year-old Pace man and a 24-year-old Tuscaloosa man, have drowned. Others have had to be pulled from the water.