Stunning teen actress Victoria Justice of Nickelodeon’s hit show “Victorious” is totally stopping traffic — but not for the reason you think. As the spokestarlet for National Youth Traffic Safety Month, she’s asking all you teen drivers to slow down, stop texting, quit fiddling with the dang radio and really think about what you’re doing when you hop in your ride because the consequences for young people are DEADLY. In fact, 11 teens will lose their lives in car crashes TODAY. Yeah, makes you wanna pull over for a second, huh?
But it’s not about being scared, it’s about being safe. So park yourself on the Act Out Loud Facebook page with Victoria and download your AOL Facebook Yearbook page featuring your top 10 tagged friends and you’ll be entered for a chance to win $1,000 each — that’s $11,000 total. You only have 2 DAYS left (contest ends on May 6th) so betta step on it!
Luckily, the lovely Miss Justice pumped the brakes on her insane schedule and took some time to chat with us about her safe driving crusade, why she’s not buggin’ about her lack of license, what car jams she’s currently bumpin’ and which Hollywood High student has the best — and worst — skillz behind the wheel. Read up and then rev your engines for Action below!
ACT: Why did you get involved with National Youth Traffic Safety Month and the Act Out Loud campaign?
VICTORIA: I was really taken aback when I heard that 11 teens die in car crashes daily and that summer months, starting in May, are the deadliest times for teens behind the wheel. I wanted to be able to use my voice to reach people, help spread a positive message and keep teens everywhere safe behind the wheel.
ACT: Why do you think teens are so stubborn when it comes to giving up bad habits like texting and driving? What do you think it takes to get them to change their behavior?
VICTORIA: I think us teens can be really stubborn. We think we’re invincible. If you’ve been driving for a little while and nothing’s happened to you yet — and you’ve been texting and driving — you think, “Oh nothing’s going to happen.” But all it takes is an accident happening with one of your friends or God forbid, something happening to you, to really give you a wake-up call.
Also, sometimes as new drivers we add other distractions which make it more dangerous to drive — like listening to your music too loud so you’re not as aware as you could be, having too many friends in the car, talking, putting on makeup. If you’re smart and you care about life, you’ll take driving seriously.
ACT: Are there any teen driving laws that you think we need to make our roads safer?
VICTORIA: I definitely think there could be stricter teen driving laws. That’s one of the great things that The Allstate Foundation and the National Organization for Youth Safety are doing is encouraging teens to speak up if they think there could be stronger laws. Write to Congress and spread a positive message amongst your friends to keep you and your crew safe.
ACT: Has “Victorious” ever dealt with the issues of teen driving?
VICTORIA: We recently had an episode where my character Tori doesn’t have her license yet. She’s 16 and everyone is making fun of her. It’s the ongoing joke throughout the show. She has to catch a ride with her friends to school everyday – which is very similar to my real life because I actually don’t have my own license either, I have a permit. I’ve been driving for awhile now, practicing behind the wheel with other people.
I was listening to KSFM radio the other day and Ryan Seacrest said, “Victoria Justice is promoting safety and driving but she doesn’t even have her license. How is this possible?” I get why he would say that but at the end of the day, you don’t need to have your license to want other people to be safe drivers.
I should have had [my license] a couple years ago but my schedule’s been so busy that I haven’t had enough time to really practice and feel as confident as I would like to behind the wheel. So I want to encourage other teens to do that, too. If you don’t feel like you’re ready to get your license — just because people are putting pressure on you, don’t feel like you have to rush into something. Take your time, really feel confident and be ready. It doesn’t matter what other people say, do what’s best for you and makes you feel safe.
ACT: When you’re in car what’s your fav song or album right now to rock in LA traffic?
VICTORIA: For music in the car, I like the Artic Monkeys. They have some great driving music — for example, “Mardy Bum” is a great car jam for sure.
ACT: Of all the characters at Hollywood Arts High, who would get the superlative for safest driver? Worst?
VICTORIA: Safest driver would have to go to my friend Avan Jogia who plays Beck — he’s been driving the longest out of everyone in the cast. Oh but wait, Daniella Monet who plays my sister Trina is a really good driver, too. I think it would be between Avan and Daniella.
Actually, Avan and I just filmed a music video for a song that I wrote called “Make It In America” — it’ll be on “Victorious” during the May 19 one-hour special. We got to ride around in this super awesome vintage red Mustang. So Avan got to drive it around in the desert. He did a good job. And I actually had to drive it, too – so that was very cool, but I was a little nervous.
And then the worst driver I would definitely say is Cat, played by Ariana Grande, because Cat gets distracted really easy and she isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, so not sure how she would fare behind the wheel. And in real life, Ariana doesn’t have a license and neither does Liz (Elizabeth Gillies), so I’m not alone!
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