Traffic Safety Issues
- Child Safety Seat Information
- Avoiding Collisions With Deer
- Tips On Night Driving
- Dealing With Glare
- Speeding Complaints
- Law Enforcement Challenge
- Refrain From Aggressive Driving
- AM 1700 - Traffic Alert
- Traffic Safety Links
Child Safety Seat Information
The Hanover County Sheriff's Office has four officers certified to inspect and install child safety seats. These officers frequently assist citizens with the installation and inspection of child safety seats. The Hanover County Sheriff's Office firmly believes that such education and assistance is the key to saving lives.
Ensure the safety
of your precious cargo,
have your child safety seat checked!
- Review 2010-2011 Buckle Up & Child Safety Seat Laws
- Take 60 seconds to check your child's car seat
- Common Misuse of Child Safety Seats
If you are a Hanover County resident or work in Hanover County, contact the Hanover Sheriff's Office at (804-365-6140) to have a certified technician inspect and/or install your child safety seat.
Child Safety Seat Check
The National SAFE KIDS Campaign recommends that whenever possible, children ages 2 and under ride in the back seat of a vehicle. The safest position for a safety seat, if it can be properly secured, is the center of the back seat.
- A child should ride in a rear-facing seat until at least one year and 20 pounds, and a rear-facing safety seat should never be placed in a vehicle seat equipped with an air bag, unless the airbag is turned off.
- At one year and 20 pounds, a child can ride in a forward-facing seat equipped with internal harnesses.
- When a child reaches the height and weight limit of his forward-facing seat (as prescribed by the manufacturer), he should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat, to be used in combination with an adult lap and shoulder belt.
A child is ready for an adult safety belt with no booster when:
- He can sit against the back of the seat and bend his knees over the front edge of the vehicle seat.
- The lap belt makes good contact low over his hips.
- The shoulder belt makes good contact across his chest and collarbone.
Common Misuse of Child Safety Seats and the Consequences
Misuse: Vehicle's seat belt is not correctly routed through
the child safety seat belt path.
Consequences: Child seat may not be held securely during a crash allowing contact with interior surfaces.
Misuse: Harness retainer clip improperly used (improperly
threaded and set below armpit level.)
Consequences: Harness straps can slip off shoulders allowing movement during a crash.
Misuse: Harness straps not tight enough and harness straps
worn and frayed.
Consequences: Looseness in the child safety seat restraint system results in compounding crash forces experienced by the child. Higher crash forces mean more severe injuries!
Avoiding Collisions With Deer
- Slow down, anticipate deer when driving through wooded and densely vegetated areas. Watch for deer crossing at locations where you have seen them before.
- If one deer runs across the road, slow down and look for others (deer seldom run alone).
- Be especially cautious at dusk through the early evening hours and in the hours prior to sunrise when deer are most active.
- Drivers encountering deer on the roadways should flash their headlights at the deer and blow the horn to scare them away.
- If you hit a deer, don't touch it. If it's alive, it may be dangerous. Call the Sheriff's Office.
- During rutting season (October through December), bucks move almost constantly in search of does. Deer are unpredictable.
- Keep your eyes moving; don't focus on the middle of the road.
- A deer is visible less than 200 feet from your vehicle; it takes a car about 317 feet to stop at 55 MPH under optimum conditions.
- Buckle your safety belts. Most people seriously injured in deer crashes are not buckled-up.
Tips On Night Driving
- Make sure your vehicle is in good working order, especially your lights and brakes.
- Dirty, pitted, or fogged windshields reduce your already limited night vision and increase the glare of oncoming headlights.
- 85% of all information needed to drive is collected by the eyes. Your ability to collect needed information is severely reduced at night. Time is needed to recover from exposure to bright lights.
- At night, the eyes lose the ability to distinguish color, determine depth perception, and determine contrast.
- Drive with high beams wherever possible (visibility of 400-500 feet compared to 200 feet for low beams) without creating a traffic hazard for oncoming traffic.
- Glare recovery is a major concern at night. The average person needs 10 seconds to recover from glare. Recovery time increases as persons age. The average person will travel about 1/4 mile with limited vision when traveling at 60 MPH at night after experiencing glare.
Dealing With Glare
- Look beyond the oncoming headlight beam (not directly into it).
- Reduce the illumination of the dashboard lights (eliminates glare into the eyes or onto the windshield).
- After experiencing glare from an oncoming vehicle, gradually let off the gas, look to the right slightly, resume normal driving after the vehicle passes, and do not blind other drivers with your high beams.
- Clean the windshield inside and out (smokers especially). Make sure the windshield washer reservoir is full and operational. Windshield wipers should be clean and free of defects.
- Clean the headlights. Dirty headlights will decrease visibility by as much as 90%.
Mobile Radar Trailers
The Hanover County Sheriff's Office has two mobile radar trailers. The trailers are utilized during weekdays in areas following a citizen complaint of speeding, or in other areas known for speeding problems. With an onboard computer, the trailers document the location, weather, speed, number of vehicles, and time. The onboard computer data is later downloaded to a laptop. This information is utilized to determine the best time for enforcement action.
Law Enforcement Challenge
Every year the Sheriff's Office competes in the Virginia and National Law Enforcement Challenge. The Sheriff's Office has placed among top agencies around the state by increasing public awareness and law enforcement efforts in the area of occupant protection, speeding and impaired driving.
The Hanover County Sheriff's Office placed 1st in the state and 2nd in the nation in 2009.
Refrain From Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving will cost you. Running red lights and stop signs, unsafe lane changes, tailgating, and speeding will get you pulled over - resulting in big penalties and demerit points. Law enforcement across Virginia are getting tough on aggressive drivers, to make our roads safer. So lighten up at the wheel. Because if you're driving in a hurry, angry, and as though you own the road, you're going to get stopped.
10 Basic Rules For Safe Driving
- Always allow extra travel time. A "safe distance" depends on a variety of factors: weather, road conditions, time of day, and speed limits. However, in general, you should maintain one car-length between you and the car in front of you for every 10 mph of speed.
- Maintain an adequate distance from the vehicle in front of you so you're able to stop in time to avoid a collision.
- Always signal your intentions to other drivers when turning and changing lanes.
- Always come to a full stop at red lights and stop signs. Don't run yellow lights.
- Let other drivers merge with you.
- Obey posted speed limits.
- Concentrate on your driving - not on your cell phone, stereo, passengers, or other distractions.
- Use your horn sparingly, only to remind other drivers of your presence.
- Never engage in inappropriate behavior such as making faces or rude or obscene gestures.
- Extend common courtesy to other drivers at all times.
AM 1700 Traffic Alert
AM 1700 is a continuously operating AM radio station specifically designed for Hanover County citizens and has the ability to broadcast important information to the motoring public over a 500 square-mile area. The system will be used to advise the motoring public to be aware of important events and/or occurrences within Hanover County. When the amber lights are flashing, citizens are advised to tune their radios to AM 1700 for information pertaining to situations such as emergency traffic, weather or public safety/crime information, and Amber Alert messages.
Traffic Safety Links
- Virginia DMV
- Virginia Traffic Laws
- NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Admn.)
- Hanover Commonwealth Attorney's Office
- Virginia Chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
- General Child Seat Use Information