Justin Bieber. That’s actually the first time I’ve put that name in an online post, even though my daughters went through a phase with the guy. Since he wasn’t old enough to drive, why would this two-time Grammy-nominated singer enter my car-centric universe?
But now he has. The video below confirms that not only does Justin Bieber have a driver’s license (actually a learner's permit), but he apparently really drives (or at least poses in a car). Some 48,000 people have watched a video that offers nothing but a still photo of Bieber’s driver’s license (backed by a song that, sources tell me, actually is by Justin Bieber):
Is Justin Bieber a responsible driver? This is really weird, but there are literally dozens of online videos and stories about him dying in a car accident earlier this year, maybe sparked by someone else named Bieber shuffling off the mortal coil in that fashion. The Twitter hashtag #RIP Justin Bieber was huge for a little while.
One bogus video has him lying in bed, apparently at death’s door and not likely to make it through the night. Others are just no-name band videos with sensational headlines, and that's probably a better way to get your group heard than passing out cards to all-ages shows.
But no, kids, your dude is alive and well. And he wants, well, he wants you to drive responsibly. On July 19, Bieber joined with PhoneGuard to launch a free DriveSafe app that automatically disables your phone’s texting, email and keyboard functions at speeds of 10 mph or more. Considering that other companies have been trying to bilk worried parents by selling them services like this, offering the same thing free seems like a good deal to me.
The app works for BlackBerry and Android phones. If you're behind the wheel, it sends the message, "I am driving and will contact you when I reach my destination." Couldn't they have cooled that up a bit? If I was a kid, I'd be embarrassed to have my phone send a fossilized text like that.
I asked PhoneGuard if I could interview Bieber, and they rudely refused (“He’s too busy crashing weddings in Malibu,” I was told), even though I own all his albums. (No I don’t. Does he even have albums, or is all just files?) Instead, they sent these quotes:
“There are too many lives lost to such a preventable issue like texting and driving.”
“This campaign isn’t anti-texting. It’s about texting responsibly.”
“As a 17-year-old driver, I’m aware of the countless distractions that we teenagers face on the road, and texting is one that is preventable.”
“As an 18-year-old first-time drinker, I know my limits, and when to say, ‘No thank you.’ And it goes without saying that we appoint a designated driver — usually one of those people who work for me.”
When he's not writing million-selling hits, Bieber "lets his hair down" and has fun, as this video showing him at the wheel of a limo confirms. I still can't tell if he actually drives. Before I forget, Bieber deserves credit for taking the time to get his license. Many 17 year olds can't seem to be bothered these days. Why, when your friends are only a text away?
As a blogger, in all seriousness, let me say I’m glad that Bieber has lent his time, however little of it there might have been (he didn’t call me back, remember?) to this cause. There are videos of the young artiste telling his fans that they are more important than any text. And if they download the app they get a chance to win a signed concert tour jacket.
Bieber actually did crash a wedding in Malibu this week (bringing his girlfriend, which should clear up a few other mysteries raised by bloggers). But he didn’t crash a car, as far as I know.