Vehicle Policy & Booking
Only members of the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Cell & Systems Biology (i.e. students, postdocs, visitors, faculty, and staff) are permitted to drive EEB-owned vehicles. For students, postdocs, visitors, and lab staff, authorization must be sent by the supervising faculty, via email, to reception, before the vehicle can be booked.
When you pick up the vehicle, you must provide:
- A copy of the driver’s up-to-date, valid, full G license. The University’s insurance policy does not cover foreign driver’s licenses (including those from the United States). Drivers with these licenses will not be allowed to use the vehicles. If you are residing in Canada for more than 6 months at a time, you must exchange your foreign license for an Ontario Driver’s License. Information on how to do this can be found on the Ministry of Transportation website.
- A list of all vehicle occupants.
- A destination point (i.e. KSR, Codrington, Algonquin, etc.).
- You must read and sign the policies regarding vehicle usage while at reception, prior to using the vehicle.
- Accounting information, provided by your PI (i.e. NSERC).
When you return the vehicle, you must provide:
- A filled-out copy of the Vehicle Checklist. The checklist should list any issues with the vehicle that occurred during the trip and should specify the km reading at the start and end of your trip and if gas was added to the vehicle. If you did fill up on gas, make sure to include the receipt(s).
- You must follow safety guidelines, including those found in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 below.
- Drive within your capabilities and to existing conditions. Rough and loose surfaces, periodic washouts, a variety of pedestrian and vehicular traffic combined with narrow rights-of-way, obstructions blown down in storms and on-coming traffic demand that drivers remain wary and cautious at all times. If weather is inclement, stop and stay overnight in a safe place. The additional lodging cost is worth avoiding the risk.
- Be careful. A slow speed, particularly on hills and curves, is the best defense against washboard and rough and loose surfaces. Avoid the shoulders of gravel roads, especially in the spring and fall when heavy precipitation will cause them to become soft. Be careful of debris on road (rocks, branches, pot holes, loose gravel, standing water, etc.). Such debris is another good reason to slow down.
- There is no “off road” driving, even if your vehicle is equipped with four-wheel drive.
- Be very cautious of wildlife at the side of the road: slow down to 5 to 10km/hour immediately. Frequently, rather than returning on their own trail, wildlife will choose to cross the road in front of you. Drive more slowly at night.
- Do not use a telephone while driving. Stop the vehicle in a safe area to use a cell phone or have a passenger operate it.
- Drinking and/or possession of intoxicating liquor or illegal drugs in vehicles or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited.
- Driver fatigue is the leading cause of traffic accidents. Fatigue affects driver perception, information processing, and reaction times. At its extreme, fatigue can cause a driver to fall asleep on the wheel. Fatigue can arise from factors including night driving, intended wakefulness, inadequate sleep, and sleep disorders. Warning signs of fatigue include: forgetfulness, impaired decision making and communication, slower reaction times, staring ahead instead of scanning surrounding conditions, drooping eyelids, close calls, such as drifting into another land or not maintaining a safe following distance. If exhibiting these symptoms, stop driving immediately. Driving through the night is not permitted. Front passengers should remain awake to help keep the driver alert during all shifts. Take a mandatory 30-minute rest break every four hours. Do not drive more than ten hours in any 24-hour period.
- Remove any dirt, trash, etc before you return the vehicle. If the vehicle is dirty when you pick it up, please let reception know.
Policies outlined in the University of Toronto Guidelines for Safety in Field Research and policies of the Risk Management and Insurance Department apply (see Appendix 1 and Appendix 2).
In the case of an accident:
- Contact the Metropolitan Toronto Police immediately. If there are any life-threatening injuries, call 911. If there are minor or no injuries, call the non-emergency line at 416-808-2222.
- Get the officer’s name, badge number, police division number, and police occurrence number.
- DO NOT ADMIT LIABILITY.
- Obtain names, addresses and insurance information of the other driver(s) and owner(s) of the car(s) involved in the accident.
- Obtain names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Get names and addresses of the injured people, and note kind of injuries.
- If the accident is minor in nature and does not involve any other parties, visit the nearest Collision Reporting Centre to file an accident report. This should be done within 24 hours of the accident, especially in the case of a hit-and-run as the deductible may be waived in some cases.
- Notify the Insurance and Claims Administrator for the University of Toronto, Tanya V. Patina (contact information provided below). Guidelines on how to report the automobile claim can be found here.
- A Driver’s Report of Accident Form must also be provided at the time claim is made and can be found here (see Appendix 3).
Contact information for Tanya V. Patina:
Insurance and Claims Administrator
U of T Risk Management and Insurance Department
215 Huron Street, Room 300
Toronto, ON M5S 1A2
NOTE: The department is responsible for vehicle maintenance. Oil changes occur every 3000 km or three-month period: whichever occurs first. Any maintenance issues that occur while on the road (i.e. mirror/glass cracks, windshield fluid low, brakes not working properly, etc.) should be reported to reception immediately to ensure that the vehicle is constantly in a drivable state.