U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta blasted pop star Britney Spears as "irresponsible" for driving with her infant son on her lap.

"No matter who you are, there's absolutely no excuse for this display -- not instinct, not fear, not even reckless paparazzi," Mineta said as he kicked off National Child Passenger Safety Week Monday in Philadelphia.

"It's irresponsible to compromise the safety of a child for the sake of the moment," he added.

The photos taken Feb. 6 by paparazzi prompted Los Angeles County welfare workers to send sheriff's deputies to Spears's home. Law enforcement officials, however, said she would not be charged with a crime.

Spears released a statement saying she was being chased by paparazzi and was "instinctively" protecting her son by not returning him to his child seat.

Mineta said the pop star's actions "send the wrong message to millions of fans."

California law requires children under the age of 6 or weighing less than 60 pounds to be in special car safety seats.