Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 22.1. Education
Chapter 12. Pupil Transportation
10/19/2021

Article 2. Insurance Provisions.

§ 22.1-188. Definitions.

As used in this article:

1. "Vehicle" means any vehicle owned or operated by, or owned or operated by any person under contract with, a county, city, town or school board in which any school pupils or personnel are transported at public expense to or from any public school.

2. "School pupils and personnel" includes school bus patrolmen when performing duties either in or outside a vehicle as prescribed by the Board of Education.

1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-189. Compliance with article prerequisite to receiving state school funds.

No school division in which any school pupils or personnel are transported at public expense to or from any public school in any vehicle shall receive any state school funds unless it complies with all applicable requirements of this article and submits satisfactory evidence to the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the effectuation of all requisite insurance.

Code 1950, § 22-284; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-190. When insurance required and amount thereof.

A. Every vehicle shall be covered in a policy of liability and property damage insurance issued by an insurance carrier authorized to transact business in this Commonwealth, in the amounts of at least $50,000 for injury, including death, to one person; $500,000 for injury, including death, to all persons injured in any one accident; and $50,000 for damage, including destruction, to the property of any person, other than the insured. In addition, the policy of insurance shall provide coverage for loss or damage caused by an uninsured motorist in accordance with the provisions of § 38.2-2206 and in the amounts required by this section. The policy shall also provide for medical expense payment coverage in the minimum amount of $5,000 for each person injured. Taxicabs providing transportation of students under contract with a school division shall be covered by policies providing coverage of at least $50,000 for injury, including death, to one person; $200,000 for injury, including death, to all persons injured in any one accident; $10,000 for damage, including destruction, to the property of any person other than the insured; and medical expense payment coverage in the minimum amount of $1,000 for each person injured, or in such higher amounts as the contract with the school division or a local ordinance may prescribe.

B. The insurance so effected shall be subject to all laws of this Commonwealth regulating insurance.

C. This insurance shall not be required in cases when pupils are transported on a common carrier if such carrier is covered by a policy of insurance affording substantially the protection required by this article.

D. This insurance shall not be required in cases where pupils are transported in vehicles which are owned or operated by a county, city, town or school board which has qualified for and received a certificate of self-insurance from the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, following a certification of financial responsibility equal to that required under subsection A of this section. The Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles may require posting of a bond by a locality or school board as a condition to issuance of a certificate of financial responsibility pursuant to this subsection.

Code 1950, § 22-285; 1958, c. 301; 1970, c. 681; 1976, c. 224; 1980, c. 559; 2012, c. 593.

§ 22.1-191. When Superintendent of Public Instruction to obtain insurance.

In every case in which a locality or its school board fails to obtain, or to require vehicles operated under contract with it to be covered by, the requisite insurance by the twentieth of July of any year or fails to notify the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the effectuation of requisite insurance on or before the first of August, it shall be the duty of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, on or before the first of September, to obtain insurance complying with the requirements of this article on all vehicles, as far as known to or reasonably ascertainable by him, to be used in the school division for school pupil and personnel transportation in the ensuing session and to expend for this purpose the requisite amount out of any state school funds otherwise distributable, or becoming distributable, to the school division so in default.

Code 1950, § 22-287; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-192. Injury and damage covered by policy.

Every policy of insurance issued in pursuance of the provisions of this article, in addition to compliance with other requirements of this article and with the requirements of other applicable laws, shall cover:

1. Injury, including death, to school pupils and personnel, except the driver when not a pupil, riding as passengers on any of the vehicles so insured when used to transport such persons at public expense;

2. Injury, including death, to any persons not passengers on any such vehicle;

3. Damage, including destruction, to property of any person other than the insured.

Code 1950, § 22-288; 1962, c. 181; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-193. Sufficiency of proof in action on policy; guest doctrine not applicable.

In case any school pupil or personnel, except the driver when not a pupil, whether riding in a vehicle or not, or any other person suffers injury, including death, or property damage, including destruction, through the ownership, maintenance, use or operation of a vehicle, it shall be sufficient, in an action for recovery upon the policy, to prove such facts and circumstances as are required to be shown in order to recover damages for death or injury to person or property caused by the negligent operation of privately owned motor vehicles in Virginia; provided that such pupils and personnel shall not be considered as guests, and § 8.01-63 shall not apply to them.

Code 1950, § 22-289; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-194. Liability of locality or school board owning or operating vehicle.

In case the locality or the school board is the owner, or operator through medium of a driver, of, or otherwise is the insured under the policy upon, a vehicle involved in an accident, the locality or school board shall be subject to action up to, but not beyond, the limits of valid and collectible insurance in force to cover the injury complained of or, in cases set forth in subsection D of § 22.1-190, up to but not beyond the amounts of insurance required under subsection A of § 22.1-190 and the defense of governmental immunity shall not be a bar to action or recovery. In case of several claims for damages arising out of a single accident involving a vehicle, the claims of pupils and school personnel, excluding driver when not a pupil, shall be first satisfied. In no event, except where approved self-insurance has been provided pursuant to subsection D of § 22.1-190, shall school funds be used to pay any claim or judgment or any person for any injury arising out of the operation of any such vehicle. The locality or school board may be sued alone or jointly with the driver, provided that in no case shall any member of a school board be liable personally in the capacity of school board member solely.

Code 1950, § 22-290; 1976, c. 224; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-195. Recovery where vehicle operated under contract.

In case a vehicle involved in an accident is not owned by the county, city, town or school board but is operated under contract with the locality or school board, recovery may be had as provided for in § 22.1-193.

Code 1950, § 22-291; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-196. Lapsed insurance.

If insurance is obtained but lapses while a vehicle is still being used or is proposed to be used to transport school pupils or personnel, no school funds remaining to be distributed to the school board so in default shall be distributed to it until the terms of this article in this regard have been fully complied with.

Code 1950, § 22-292; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-197. Distribution of funds when Superintendent effects insurance.

When the Superintendent of Public Instruction effects insurance as required by this article, he shall nevertheless not make any distribution of state school aid funds to the school board so in default until he has been furnished with satisfactory assurances that all vehicles required by this article to be covered by insurance have been duly insured.

Code 1950, § 22-293; 1980, c. 559.

§ 22.1-198. Applicability of article not dependent upon approval of vehicles or allocability of state aid.

The provisions of this article apply to all vehicles whether or not the regulations of the Board of Education established pursuant to § 22.1-177 have been complied with and irrespective of whether or not any state aid for transporting school pupils and personnel in the particular vehicle has been, is, or will be allocable.

Code 1950, § 22-294; 1980, c. 559.