February 09, 2006 05:00 PM

After telling PEOPLE earlier this week that she “instinctively took measures to get my baby and me out of harm’s way” when confronted by aggressive paparazzi, Britney Spears now says she “made a mistake” by driving with her young son, Sean Preston, on her lap.

The pop star raised concerns Monday when photos surfaced of her driving her SUV in Malibu, holding her 4-month-old baby rather than putting him in a car seat as required by California law.

“I made a mistake and so it is what it is, I guess,” Spears, 24, said in an interview with Access Hollywood that aired Thursday.

A source close to Spears told PEOPLE that the singer had been waiting for her bodyguard outside a Starbucks when photographers approached the car and became aggressive. When the bodyguard came back to the car, Spears drove away while still holding her son.

“It’s the press. I mean, there is nothing new with them,” she told Access, referring to constantly being followed by the media. “Being put in the situation that I was in, it was kind of bad with the paparazzi. Last week, my mom and I went out and they were on us really bad, so you instinctively do what you need to do.”

In her statement to PEOPLE, Spears said she was “terrified that this time the physically aggressive paparazzi would put both me and my baby in danger…. I love my child and would do anything to protect him.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has said it won’t pursue any charges against the star.

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