Many thanks so Supervisor Cook for his excellent “Back to School Safety Tips” (Connection, Aug. 9-15, 2018). While many of the tips focused on what drivers can do around school busses, there is more work to be done by our local government to protect our school age children.
When school bus drivers cause accidents that injure students, Fairfax County will assert that both the county and its drivers are immune from claims for damages in excess $50,000, which is the limit of the county’s school bus insurance policy. This claim of immunity, coupled with this very low amount of insurance, can leave those insured with devastating medical bills. To make matters worse, Fairfax County will require anyone settling a claim to agree to keep the settlement confidential, thus ensuring that parents who are putting their children on busses each morning, never discover the risk involved.
If Fairfax Country really cares about children it should bring its school bus insurance policy up to date with coverage to $1 million per claimant, at a minimum, and waive its immunity up to that amount.
Benjamin W. Glass, III