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Report Says School Bus Seat Belts Not Cost-Effective

Montgomery, AL – An intensive three-year study in Alabama has determined it would not be cost-effective to place seat belts on most school buses.

The study was commissioned by Gov. Bob Riley after four students were killed in 2006 when a school bus without seat belts crashed nose-first from an overpass in Huntsville.

That accident also led federal transportation officials to set a new policy, effective in 2011, requiring smaller school buses to be equipped with lap-and-shoulder seat belts. But the Alabama study released Monday found it would cost $11,000 to $15,000 per bus to install belts and that it would save only about one life every eight years in Alabama.

Study officials said it would be more cost-effective to spend money making the process of loading students on and off the buses safer.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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