February 14, 2008 / 1:50 PM / 10 years ago

Billy Ray Cyrus apologizes for seatbelt gaffe

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Country singer Billy Ray Cyrus apologized on Wednesday for being filmed in the back seat of a car with his daughter Miley, who plays Hannah Montana in the hit Disney series, without wearing seat belts.

The apology was made through People magazine’s Web site after U.S. magazine Consumer Reports raised concerns over a scene in Montana’s hit 3-D movie “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour.”

“We got caught up in the moment of filming, and we made a mistake and forgot to buckle our seatbelts,” Cyrus told People.

“Seatbelt safety is extremely important,” he added.

Consumer Reports said Cyrus and his 15-year-old daughter were filmed riding in a Range Rover on the way to rehearsal for the concert tour and neither was wearing a seat belt.

The magazine said in a blog posting that movie and TV shows did influence how children and adults acted in daily life.

“Simply put, not wearing seat belts while riding in the rear seat of a vehicle is dangerous,” said the blog posting.

“According to 2006 data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 58.2 percent of all rear seat fatalities involved passengers who were not wearing seat belts, compared to 32.7 percent of fatalities for rear seat passengers who were wearing seat belts.”

Hannah Montana’s Walt Disney 3-D movie topped movie box offices when it was released earlier this month, following on from the star’s sell-out tour in 2007.

The Hannah Montana character, which originated on a Disney Channel television series of the same name, has proved phenomenally popular with “tween” girls who turn up in droves to watch the show and see her perform live in concert.


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