Driving is driving, whether it is a golf cart or a GoPed. If you operate it on the road, either with or without a license or whether or not you own the vehicle, you are required to follow all laws and are ultimately responsible for anything which might happen while you operate the vehicle.

This was lesson handed down to an 18-year-old Western New York State driver whose friend was killed while riding in a golf cart with her on rural country road.

Cortney Greene of Byron was charged with criminally negligent homicide, vehicular manslaughter and driving while impaired by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday. If convicted on all counts Greene could spend more than a decade of her life in prison. This would not restore the life of her friend, but it does send a strong message to anyone operating a vehicle they think makes them immune from vehicle safety laws.

In the case of Greene and her passenger, their vehicle was actually struck from behind, yet still she is facing a multitude of felony charges.

There is no good reason and certainly no legal precedent for believing that operating a non-car vehicle on the roadway makes you immune from responsibility. Even if you are a good defensive driver. In fact, it is possible that operating such a vehicle makes you more liable for prosecution if you do so with contempt for the law.

It should also be mentioned that automobiles come with a myriad of features which make them much more appropriate for driving on roads and much more safer in the event of an accident. Seat belts, air bags and anti-lock brakes are not standard equipment on golf carts or go carts, making them a more dangerous vehicle to drive anywhere, much less on a road.

So, the next time you set off to have a ball in a non-automobile make certain you follow all laws required of vehicle operation, regardless of where you plan to ride.

Image: Bill Longshaw / FreeDigitalPhotos.net