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Vehicle Policy

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Harvard Forest has several vehicles for the use of Harvard Forest and Harvard University employees, collaborators and affiliates. Any questions about using vehicles should be addressed to Facilities Manager, (978-756-6134 or or Edythe Ellin, Director of Administration, (978-724-3302, ext. 224 or

Who May Drive Harvard Forest Vehicles: All drivers must be:

  1. Harvard University employees, collaborators or affiliates
  2. Have a current, valid driver's license recognized by Massachusetts
  3. Complete the Harvard Forest Authorized Driver form
  4. Complete the defensive driving training as directed by Facilities Manager

Who May be Passengers in Harvard Forest Vehicles:

Only Harvard University employees, research collaborators or visiting researchers may ride in Harvard Forest vehicles. Family and friends of the above mentioned authorized drivers are not covered by our insurance and should not be riding in Harvard Forest vehicles.

Researchers who are not employed by Harvard University may be given permission to use Harvard Forest vehicles if s/he:

  1. Makes prior arrangements with the administrative staff (
  2. Provides a Certificate of Insurance from their employer's insurance agency made out to "The President and Fellow of Harvard College"
  3. Has a current, valid driver's license recognized by Massachusetts
  4. Completes the Harvard Forest Authorized Driver form
  5. Are approved by HU Insurance which requires a clean driving record, at least 2 years experience driving and at least 18 years old.

Insurance and Driver Liability: Harvard University has automobile insurance that covers Harvard University employees driving or riding in a Harvard Forest vehicle if it is in an accident. If the driver is at fault in causing the accident, s/he may be required to pay up to $500 as a deductible towards damages. The individual driver is always liable for his/her citations for moving or parking violations.

Driver Rules: The Facilities staff will provide authorized drivers with a copy of the Harvard Forest Driving Rules that are to be adhered to at all times while driving Harvard Forest vehicles. Failure to adhere to these rules may be grounds for loss of driving privileges.

Sign Out Procedure and Vehicle Log Book: Harvard Forest maintains a sign out calendar (located in the Harvard Forest Copier Room, Shaler Hall) for reserving vehicles. The reservation system must be followed to ensure that vehicle users can expect a pre-reserved vehicle to be available. All vehicles have driver/mileage logbooks - all trips must be recorded in this log (date out, date in, mileage out, mileage in, driver, destination).

Reporting Auto (or any other type of) Accidents: If you are in any type of accident, first contact the police, and make sure everyone is safe. You must then let the Facilities staff or Director of Administration know of the accident as soon as possible. The driver of the vehicle and all passengers must fill out an Accident Report as soon as possible and return it to the Director of Administration so the insurance paperwork can be processed.

Using Personal Vehicles for Harvard Forest Business Purposes: It is to the employee's benefit to use Harvard Forest vehicles for all business purposes. I an employee uses a personal vehicle for Harvard University business and has an accident, the Forest and Harvard University will not pay for damages to the staffer's vehicle. The Forest only pays reimbursement for mileage.

Summer Students: Summer students are allowed to drive Harvard Forest vehicles for research purposes only and only when required for their project. In these cases, the Principle Investigator must sign off on student vehicle use prior to having a student take a vehicle out. Additional policies regarding vehicle use by participants in the Summer Student Research Program are distributed during the program orientation.