"Seatbelt safety is extremely important," he added.
Billy Ray Cyrus is, of course, the father of Miley Cyrus, the 15-year-old acting and singing sensation known to her legions of teen and tween fans as "Hannah Montana." Earlier this week, Consumer Reports magazine called attention to a scene in the "Hannah Montana" movie where the two are riding in the back seat of a Range Rover without wearing seat belts.
"Why should we care?" the Web posting read. "Because, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in about 55 percent of passenger vehicle fatalities in 2006 (the latest data available), the occupants were not wearing seat belts. Even worse, in the 13- to 15-year-old age group, that percentage climbs to 65 percent."
"It seems to us that Miley, her father, and Disney had a perfect opportunity to help influence teens and counteract -- rather than encourage -- this trend," the Consumer Reports post continued. "Then again, as Hannah herself sings, 'Everybody makes mistakes.'"
The "Hannah Montana" concert movie has taken in more than $50 million in less than two weeks. In December 2007, Miley Cyrus was ranked No. 17 in Forbes' list of Top Twenty Earners Under 25, with an annual earning of $3.5 million.