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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Please reprint your advice and driving contract for parents who have a teen-ager who wants to borrow the car. I would like to use it as a contract between my newly licensed daughter and us. Thank you. -– KAREN EAGLESON, NEPEAN, ONTARIO, CANADA

DEAR KAREN: I'm pleased to print it again. The "Driving Contract" was the brainchild of a pair of "Proud Parents" who shared it with me many years ago. I frequently receive requests for it. I think it's terrific because it clearly spells out the young person's responsibilities, so there's no question about what the parents expect of the new driver. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: As parents of a 16-year-old who has just passed his driver's license examination, we're sure that other parents are also apprehensive about their child's newly found freedom, and might 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: We have four married children. My husband's nephew is being married. His mother called today and said they could invite only one couple to the wedding. We're not sure which couple. As it stands, three couples' feelings will be hurt, along with ours.

I feel they should invite all or none. Would it be proper to tell her my feelings on this? What do you suggest our family do? -– APPALLED IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR APPALLED: Since it's obvious the guest list is being limited due to financial constraints, do not take this personally and do not criticize. Call the mother of the groom and tell her that rather than having any of your children feel left out, you will be happy to represent your family at the festivities. (Your "children" may be happy to be off the hook.)

DEAR ABBY: Our high school honors English teacher announced that four kids turned in the same term paper. They copied it off the Internet. The teacher said these students should no longer be in honors classes or the Honor Society.

One of the kids' fathers is president of the school board. The principal said, "This has all been a mistake, and it shouldn't affect their future." Then he nominated the son of the school board president for a distinguished award.

My younger siblings will be attending this school in the fall. What should I tell them about this messed-up system? –- CYNICAL BIG BROTHER

DEAR CYNICAL: Tell them the truth: There are serious ethical challenges in the school's administration. Unfortunately, it's an early lesson that some people in authority blatantly misuse their positions of power.

Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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