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Journal Article

Citation

Harris GT, Olukoga IA. Inj. Prev. 2005; 11(2): 102-105.

Affiliation

Management, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2005, BMJ Publishing Group)

DOI

10.1136/ip.2004.007179

PMID

15805439

PMCID

PMC1730202

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether a program to increase the wearing of seat belts in a South African urban area would be worthwhile in societal terms. DESIGN: A cost benefit analysis of a one year enhanced seat belt enforcement program in eThekwini (Durban) Municipality. METHODS: Data were drawn from two main sources-a 1998 study of the cost of road crashes in South Africa and, given the absence of other data, a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of various types of interventions to reduce road crash casualties in the United States-and were analyzed using cost benefit analysis. RESULTS: A program designed to enforce greater wearing of seat belts, estimated to cost 2 million rand in one year, could be reasonably expected to increase seat belt usage rates by 16 percentage points and reduce fatalities and injuries by 9.5%. This would result in saved social costs of 13.6 million rand in the following year or a net present value of 11.6 million rand. There would also be favorable consequences for municipal finances. CONCLUSIONS: Investment in a program to increase seat belt wearing rates is highly profitable in societal terms.

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