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Lancaster County

Sheriff's Office

Sheriff Barry S. Faile

Bike Safety

Bike Safety

Every year in the United States, bicycle-related deaths number about 900 and emergency rooms treat almost 500,000 people for bicycle-related injuries, most to the head. Bicycle accidents in the U.S. send more children to the ER than any other sport. Proper use of a bicycle helmet can help reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 88%. Regardless of your age, it's wise to follow these bicycle safety tips:

1. Always wear a helmet that meets one or more of the voluntary bicycle helmet standards like ASTM, Snell or ANSI.

2. Make sure your helmet fits properly and is level on the head. It should not be tilted back on the crown or pulled low over the forehead. It may take time to ensure a helmet fits properly, but it is worth the effort.

3. Before riding your bicycle, make sure it is in good working order and properly adjusted.

4. Wear proper clothing to make sure motorists and pedestrians can see you easily. Reflectors on you and your bike can help make you more visible.

5. Ride on marked paths and safe areas whenever possible.

6. When riding your bicycle on the street, always go in the same direction as car traffic.

7. Stay alert for vehicles, pedestrians and potential dangers like potholes or debris.

8. Never ride with another person on the handlebars.

9. Keep at least one hand on the bicycle's handlebars at all times.

Please be aware that the northern part of U.S. 521 is a popular bicycling route for many enthusiasts. While driving through this part of the county, please pay special attention and remain alert for bicyclists in this area.


Bullying occurs when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually, bullying is repeated.

Examples of bullying are:

· Punching, shoving and other acts of physical violence.
· Spreading rumors
· Excluding people
· Teasing people
· Getting certain people to be mean as well

Bullying can also occur on-line or electronically. Cyber-bullying occurs when children or teens bully each other using the Internet, mobile phones or other technology. This can include:

· Sending hostile texts, e-mails or instant messages
· Posting offensive pictures or messages about others in blogs or on websites
· Hacking into someone else's online account to spread rumors or lies about another person

Whether you are being bullied, have seen others being bullied or you have bullied others, there are plenty of good things you can do to ensure it doesn't happen again. No matter how you've been affected by bullying, it's a good idea to talk to an adult. Even though it's hard to talk to grown-ups, they can help!

Signs your child may be bullied:

· torn clothes
· loss of appetite
· mood changes
· reluctance to go to school
· bruises or injuries that can't be explained

Signs your child might be engaging in bullying behavior:

· impulsiveness
· no empathy for others
· a desire to be in control
· may be an arrogant and boastful winner and poor loser in competitive games

For younger kids, the best way to solve a bullying problem is to tell a trusted adult. For teens, though, the tell-an-adult approach depends on the bullying situation.

One situation in which it is vital to report bullying is if it threatens to lead to physical danger and harm. Numerous high school students have died when stalking, threats and attacks went unreported and the silence gave the bully license to become more violent.

If the victim of repeated bullying cannot control the need for revenge, the situation may become dangerous for everyone.

Adults in positions of authority — parents, teachers or coaches — can often find ways to resolve dangerous bullying problems without the bully ever learning how they found out about it.

If you're in a bullying situation that you think may escalate into physical violence, try to avoid being alone (and if you have a friend in this situation, spend as much time as you can together). Try to remain part of a group by walking home at the same time as other people or by sticking close to friends or classmates during the times the bullying takes place.

Bullying Survival Tips

Here are some things you can do to combat psychological and verbal bullying. They are also good tips to share with a friend as a way to show your support:

· Ignore the bully and walk away. It's definitely not a coward's response — sometimes it can be harder than losing your temper. Bullies thrive on the reaction they get, and if you walk away, or ignore hurtful emails or instant messages, you're telling the bully that you just don't care. Eventually the bully will become bored. Walk tall and hold your head high. Using this type of body language sends a message that you're not vulnerable.

· Hold the anger. Who doesn't want to get really upset with a bully? But that's exactly the response he or she is trying to get. Bullies want to know they have control over your emotions. If you're in a situation where you have to deal with a bully and you can't walk away with poise, use humor — it can throw the bully off guard. Work out your anger in another way, such as through exercise or writing it down (make sure you tear up any letters or notes you write in anger).

· Don't get physical. However you choose to deal with a bully, don't use physical force (like kicking, hitting or pushing). Not only are you showing your anger, you can never be sure what the bully will do in response. You are more likely to be hurt and get into trouble if you use violence against a bully. You can stand up for yourself in other ways, such as gaining control of the situation by walking away or by being assertive in your actions. Some adults believe bullying is a part of growing up (even that it is character building) and hitting back is the only way to tackle the problem. But that's not the case. Aggressive responses tend to lead to more violence and more bullying for the victims.

· Practice confidence. Practice ways to respond to the bully verbally or through your behavior. Practice feeling good about yourself (even if you have to fake it at first).

· Take charge of your life. You can't control other people's actions, but you can stay true to yourself. Think of ways to feel your best — and your strongest — so other kids may give up the teasing. Exercise is one way to feel strong and powerful. (It's a great mood lifter, too!) Learn martial arts or take a yoga class. Another way to gain confidence is to hone your skills in something like chess, art, music, computers or writing. Joining a class, club or gym is a great way to make new friends and feel great about yourself. The confidence you gain will help you ignore the bullys. · Talk about it. It may help to talk to a guidance counselor, teacher or friend — anyone who can give you the support you need. Talking can be a good outlet for the fears and frustrations that can build when you're being bullied.

· Find your (true) friends. If you've been bullied with rumors or gossip, all of the above tips (especially ignoring and not reacting) can apply. But take it one step further to help ease feelings of hurt and isolation. Find one or two true friends and confide how the gossip has hurt your feelings. Set the record straight by telling your friends quietly and confidently what's true and not true about you. Hearing a friend say, "I know the rumor's not true. I didn't pay attention to it," can help you realize that most of the time people see gossip for what it is — petty, rude and immature.


The Lancaster County School District has a strict anti-bullying policy. If you feel your child is being bullied in school, please call the District Safety Director at 803-285-6009.

Child Restraints

South Carolina’s child passenger restraint law requires:

· Children from birth to 1 year old, or who weigh less than 20 pounds, must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat.

· Children 1 through 5 years old weighing 40 to 80 pounds must be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat.

· Children under the age of 6 are not required to be in booster seats if they weigh more than 80 pounds or if they can sit with their backs against the car's seat and bend their legs over the seat edge without slouching.

· Children under 6 may not sit in the front passenger seat. However, this restriction does not apply if the vehicle has no rear passenger seats or if all other rear passenger seats are occupied by children less than 6 years old.

Violators are subject to a $150 fine. This law does not apply to taxis, church, school and day care buses or commercial vehicles.

South Carolina Code of Laws states the following:



SECTION 56-5-6410. Child passenger restraint systems; age and weight as basis for required restraining system; standards. Every driver of a motor vehicle (passenger car, pickup truck, van or recreational vehicle) operated on the highways and streets of this State when transporting a child five years of age or younger upon the public streets and highways of the State must provide an appropriate child passenger restraint system and must secure the child as follows:

· A child from birth up to one year of age or who weighs less than twenty pounds must be properly secured in a rear-facing child safety seat which meets the standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

· A child who is at least one year of age but less than six years of age and who weighs at least twenty pounds but less than forty pounds must be secured in a forward-facing child safety seat provided in the motor vehicle which meets the standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

· A child who is at least one year of age but less than six years of age and who weighs at least forty pounds but not more than eighty pounds must be secured by a belt-positioning booster seat. The belt-positioning booster seat must be used with both lap and shoulder belts. A booster seat must not be used with a lap belt alone.

· If a child is at least one year of age but less than six years of age and weighs more than eighty pounds, the child may be restrained in an adult safety belt. If a child less than six years of age can sit with his back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion, with his knees bent over the vehicle's seat edge without slouching, the child may be seated in the regular back seat and secured by an adult safety belt.

· A child who is less than six years of age must not occupy a front passenger seat of a motor vehicle. This restriction does not apply if the motor vehicle does not have rear passenger seats or if all rear passenger seats are occupied by other children less than six years of age. Any child restraint system of a type sufficient to meet the physical standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the time of its manufacture is sufficient to meet the requirements of this article.

SECTION 56-5-6420. Transportation of children with insufficient number of restraint devices. If all the seating positions with restraint devices are occupied by children under the age of six years, a child may be transported and the driver of the motor vehicle is not in violation of the provisions of this article, but priority must be given to children under the age of six years, according to their ages.

SECTION 56-5-6420. Transportation of children with insufficient number of restraint devices. If all the seating positions with restraint devices are occupied by children under the age of six years, a child may be transported and the driver of the motor vehicle is not in violation of the provisions of this article, but priority must be given to children under the age of six years, according to their ages.

SECTION 56-5-6440. Persons and vehicles excepted from article. The provisions of this article do not apply to:

· Taxi drivers.

· Drivers of emergency vehicles when operating in an emergency situation.

· Church, day care and school bus drivers.

· Public transportation operators.

· Commercial vehicles.

SECTION 56-5-6445. Applicability of chapter.

The provisions of this article apply to all motor vehicles equipped with safety belts.

SECTION 56-5-6450. Custodial arrest not authorized; penalties for violation of article; waiver. No person shall be subjected to a custodial arrest for violation of the provisions of this article. Any person violating the provisions of this article shall upon conviction be fined not more than twenty-five dollars. The court shall waive any fine against any person who, before, or upon the appearance date on the summons, supplies the court with evidence of acquisition, purchase or rental of a child restraint system meeting the requirements of this article.

SECTION 56-5-6460. Violation of article not to constitute negligence. A violation of this article shall not constitute negligence, per se, contributory negligence nor be admissible as evidence in any trial of any civil action.

SECTION 56-5-6470. Enforcement after June 30, 1984. After June 30, 1984, any person violating the provisions of Article 47 of Chapter 5 of Title 56 may be, when apprehended, issued a summons, to appear in court for the violation, but no person shall at any time be placed under arrest or taken into custody for such a violation, other than upon a warrant issued for failure to appear in court in accordance with the summons or upon failure to pay a fine duly imposed by a court upon conviction.

Child Safety

Each year thousands of children are reported missing. The men and women of the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office want you to know what you can do to help prevent your child from becoming a statistic.

Teach your child to:

· Never leave home without your permission.

· Your children should play only in areas away from the street, such as a backyard, or in a play area supervised by a responsible adult.

· Never wander off, avoid lonely places and avoid shortcuts through alleys or deserted areas. Children are safer walking or playing with friends.

· Come straight home after school unless you have made other arrangements.

· Never enter anyone’s home without your approval.

· Scream, run away and tell a parent or a trusted adult if anyone attempts to touch or grab them, or if a stranger offers them a ride.

· Never give any information over the telephone including name or address, or tell anyone you’re alone.

· Keep doors locked and only allow people you know into the home.

You should:

· Know your child’s whereabouts at all times.

· Teach your child at an early age their name, address and telephone number and your first and last name.

· Teach them how to call 9-1-1 for help. Have him or her use the phone to practice dialing 9-1-1 but be sure to unplug the phone to avoid dialing.

· Teach your child how to make local and long distance phone calls.

· Never leave your child alone in a car; even for a few seconds.

· Establish strict procedures for picking up your child at school, from the movies, at a friend’s house, etc.

· Remind your child to never accept a ride from anyone you don’t know, even if the child knows the person.

· Talk to your child about child abduction in a simple, non-threatening way.

· Listen to your child when he or she discusses anyone they may have met or spoken with when you weren’t around.

· Take photographs of your child at least four times a year (especially for preschoolers). Make notes of birthmarks or other distinguishing features and have them documented and stored in a safe area that is quickly accessible.

· Fingerprint your child and store the prints in a safe, easily accessible place in your home.

Rules for baby-sitters:

· Leave emergency contact numbers as well as mobile numbers.

· Never allow the sitter to admit strangers into your home. The best rule is no company allowed.

· Instruct the sitter that phone use is for emergencies only, not for chatting with friends.

· Leave the number for your local law enforcement agency and tell the sitter to call immediately if there are any signs of suspicious activity or unusual noises.

Child Gun Safety

· One child dies every nine hours in a gun accident or suicide (NCHS/CDC)

· Over the past decade, more than 5,000 kids have died in firearms accidents (NCHS/CDC)

· 16,298 kids were injured by firearms in a single year (NEISS/AIP)

· 30% of all handguns are stored unlocked and loaded (NIJ)

· 22 million kids in the U.S. live in a house with a firearm (Rand Report)

· 40% of American households with children have guns (Hart Research)

· Two-thirds of students in grades 6 – 12 said they could acquire a firearm within 24 hours

Many gun owners have small children either residing in the household or visiting on a regular basis. The reality is, if there is a gun in the house, your child or grandchild most likely knows where the gun is at. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have hidden it in a place they would never think to look.

You should educate your children about the guns and teach them the dangers associated with them. Children are curious and the lure of the unknown can be the deciding factor between whether a child “plays” with a gun or leaves it alone. The time we invest in securing guns in our household and in educating our children could make all the difference in preventing accidents involving guns.

General Gun Safety

There is no greater responsibility than providing for the safety and security of your home and family. Many people purchase a handgun, rifle or shotgun. A few basic but very important rules are listed below:

· Always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it. If you do not know how to check to see if the gun is loaded, leave it alone making sure it is pointed in a safe direction until someone who knows how to check it can ensure it is unloaded.

· Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Whether you are shooting or simply handling a gun, never point it at yourself or others.

· Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. When holding a gun, rest your trigger finger on the outside of the trigger guard alongside the gun until you are ready to fire. This will prevent any accidental discharges of your gun.

· Do not point your gun at anything you are not willing to destroy or kill.


· Remember gun safety starts at home.

Child Safety
Gun Safety
Child Restraints
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