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, 103 (5), 479-85

Cost-benefit Analysis of Safety Belts in Texas School Buses


Cost-benefit Analysis of Safety Belts in Texas School Buses

C E Begley et al. Public Health Rep.


Although safety belts have been shown to reduce the risk of serious injury or death in automobile crashes, evidence of their effectiveness in school buses is uncertain. In this paper, the potential costs and benefits of mandatory safety belts in Texas school buses are estimated, based on the assumption that their effectiveness is less than or equal to rear seatbelt effectiveness in autos. Costs are based on both retrofitting old buses with belts and installing them in new buses. Benefits include the direct and indirect (forgone earnings) cost-savings from preventable injuries and fatalities. Results indicate that a law mandating safety belts in Texas school buses would not be cost-beneficial. Annual benefits would exceed the annual costs of installing belts in new school buses. However, the benefits would not be large enough to compensate for the five-year costs associated with retrofitting old buses.

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