Sporty cars and celebrities are a part of California culture, but the Golden State also has things called rules of the road.
Pop star Justin Bieber, with his right foot sometimes on the pedal of a white Ferrari, may be stepping over the line of safe driving, neighbors have alleged.
Let’s just say it doesn’t sound as if the 19-year-old singer has developed very promising habits behind the wheel. And for California drivers, a few infractions noted by police can result in a suspended driver’s license.
The incident that’s put Bieber in the news this week occurred Monday, when he allegedly drove his white Ferrari at freeway speeds in what is a 25 mile-per-hour zone.
Former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson was one of the neighbors who complained. Worried about the safety of his young children within the gated community where he and Bieber own homes, Mr. Johnson got into his Prius and followed Bieber’s Ferrari in an effort to talk about his driving habits. But Bieber scurried into his house.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department received two calls and responded to the location in Calabasas. But they were also turned away.
"His security detail said he declined to talk to us based on the advice of counsel," Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
"Their eyewitness testimony to our deputies was definitive — not only the speed, not only the vehicle, but Mr. Bieber was sitting and driving in the driver's side seat," Whitmore said.
The matter will soon head to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office to consider filing misdemeanor charges.
In California, drivers may have licenses suspended or revoked if they acquire a certain number of negative “points.” Four points within a 12-month period, for example, could result in suspension.
Many rule violations result in one point. “Reckless driving” is a two-point violation, as is a speed contest or “exhibition of speed.”
The Memorial Day incident comes after another publicized case of alleged speeding in his community. Another neighbor said that when he complained, Bieber spit on him and threatened him, according to news reports. That incident could also result in a prosecution.
Bieber hasn’t commented this week on his driving behavior. But amid a string of bad publicity, from concert cancellations to alleged drug use, he has offered a blend of apology and self-justification.
"I want to be a good role model, but some people want me to fail,” he told US Weekly magazine this spring. He said he’s “not perfect.”
Bieber also said "I'm young and I want to have fun. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.” He also said “mistakes” are “part of growing up.”
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.