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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen Driver Contract Gives Parents' Rules for the Road

DEAR ABBY: Some years ago, when my son was still a young boy, I read a letter in your column asking you to reprint some rules for teens before they are allowed to drive the family car. I had thought about keeping it, but decided then that the day was too far off. Now my son is two months short of his 16th birthday and eager to get his license.

Would it be possible for you to print those rules again for the benefit of a new generation of teens? Thank you very much. -- A CANADIAN MOM

DEAR CANADIAN MOM: The "rules" were actually a contract, which was the brainchild of a pair of "Proud Parents." I'm pleased to run it for you and others for whom it could be useful:

DEAR ABBY: Being the parents of a 16-year-old who has just passed his driver's license examination, we feel that other parents such as we are apprehensive about their child's newly found freedom, and perhaps would like to ease some of that anxiety by drawing up a contract as we did, as a reminder of the seriousness of this new responsibility. It has worked wonders for us.


I ( ), on this day, do agree to the stipulations stated below rendering me the privilege of driving my parents' cars. If, at any time, I violate the said agreement, the driving privileges will be forfeited to the extent and degree of violation.

1. Should I get a traffic violation ticket, I agree to pay for the ticket as well as the difference in the insurance premium for as long as the premium is in effect.

2. I agree to pay for damages that I incur not covered by insurance.

3. At no time will I ever drink alcoholic beverages and drive at the same time, nor will there be any liquor or beer in the car at any time.

4. I will never transport more passengers than there are seat belts, and will not drive the car until all passengers have buckled up.

5. I will keep the car that I drive clean, inside and out, and be aware of its needs for gas, oil, etc., plus wax the car once a month.

I have read the above agreement and do sign this in accordance with the rules.


( ) Child

( ) Parent

( ) Parent

Date: ( )

Submitted by ... PROUD PARENTS

DEAR ABBY: Here's another one for your "never thought I'd be writing to Dear Abby" collection.

I've been reading your column for ages, but I don't recall having seen this topic addressed. I have an old Bible that has seen better days. The pages are tearing and beginning to fall out. I have purchased a new Bible, but I am not sure what to do with the old one. I don't feel right just throwing it into the garbage.

Is there a proper way to dispose of an old Bible? -- MIKE IN TEXAS

DEAR MIKE: Yes. I consulted the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., and was told: Protestants can dispose of an old Bible by giving it to someone or throwing it away if they are comfortable doing so -- the paper and ink are not "holy." However, if the individual is not comfortable with that, it can be given to a Bible bookstore or Bible Book Society for refurbishing or disposal.

Father Joe Moniz at St. Joseph's Church in Torrance, Calif., advised that Catholics can either burn or bury old Bibles.

Persons of other religions should consult their religious authority concerning an accepted manner of disposing of holy books.

To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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