CNN’s home page pairs Justin Bieber’s arrest with teen driving ads

Justin Bieber, the 19-year-old singer and budding cautionary tale, was arrested in Florida (of course) for driving under the influence and drag racing. The Miami Beach Police Department posted the arrest report on Twitter (here’s page one, page two and page three), which notes that Bieber was also charged with resisting arrest (the Miami Herald reports that Bieber was in a Lamborghini, if you’re curious).

This is obviously huge, breaking news, and media organizations (ahem) have to treat it as such. Of course, in the rush to get the information online, some outlets may not have realized what advertising they had splashed across their homepage alongside their blaring BREAKING NEWS alerts about Bieber:


(Screenshot of CNN.com)

The advertisements are for Toyota’s TeenDrive365 campaign, which is aimed at parents trying to teach teenagers how to drive during their first years on the road.

Of course, it’s not the worst thing in the world for this high-profile story to draw attention to the dangers faced by teen drivers. Research has shown that teens are the most dangerous drivers on the road, crashing nearly four times as often as older drivers. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, and teens are significantly more likely to crash during their first month of driving than they are in the years that follow. Teens in states that strictly limit teen driving — such as graduated licensing laws, which restrict nighttime driving and the number of other passengers in the car — are also less likely to drink and get behind the wheel.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.

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Dana Hedgpeth · January 23, 2014

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