U.S. Transportation Chief Calls Britney Spears 'Irresponsible'
2/13/2006 7:22 PM PT
By JOANN LOVIGLIO, ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta on Monday chided pop star Britney Spears as "irresponsible" for driving with her baby son on her lap.
"Recent photos of Britney Spears driving with her infant son on her lap are troubling. And while Ms. Spears has acknowledged her mistake, her actions still send the wrong message to millions of her fans," Mineta said at an event at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Photos published earlier this month showed Spears driving her sport utility vehicle in Malibu, California, with her 4-month-old son perched on her lap. The pop star acknowledged that she made a mistake but said she acted instinctively during a frightening encounter with paparazzi.
"No matter who you are, there's absolutely no excuse for this display -- not instinct, not fear, not even reckless paparazzi," Mineta said. "It's irresponsible to compromise the safety of a child for the sake of the moment."
Mineta was at the hospital to announce $25 million (euro21.03 million) in new federal funding over the next four years to U.S. states that pass and enforce new or tougher booster seat laws. Sixteen states do not currently have such measures on the books, he said.