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Small Motorized Recreational Vehicles

Originally approved April 2019, replacing rescinded policy statements: Intoxication and Motorized Recreational Vehicle and Watercraft Operation; Motorized Recreational Vehicle and Watercraft Safety


The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) supports the development and implementation of programs, policies, legislation, regulations, and public education that will increase the safe use of small motorized recreational vehicles and watercraft*. These measures should emphasize the shared responsibility of owners, operators, passengers, and manufacturers to optimize the safety of riders and bystanders. These measures must include the prohibition of child operators, prevention of alcohol/drug impaired operation, required use of safety equipment, mandatory safety training of all operators, and avoidance of operation while drowsy/distracted.

ACEP encourages a multifaceted coordinated effort between recreation enthusiasts, vehicle/watercraft manufacturers, federal/state/local agencies, and the medical community to reduce injury and death resulting from the use of motorized recreational vehicles and watercraft. Those developing usage recommendations should provide clear guidelines on vehicle/watercraft-specific required protective equipment, minimum-maximum height/weight/age restrictions, training requirements for operators, and rescue operation instructions, if applicable. Furthermore, states should establish uniform legislation of speed limits and alcohol/drug standards for safe operation, as well as impoundment of property to ensure public safety.


* Motorized recreational vehicles and watercraft can include Segways, hoverboards, scooters, mopeds, mini-bikes, all-terrain vehicles (ATV), go-karts, snowmobiles, ultralight aircraft, boats, jet skis, and other similar vehicles.

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