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Dear Abby: I have a daughter who will be 16 next month and she can't wait to drive!

Some time ago, you published a "contract" between parents and their children who will be driving for the first time. I wish I had saved it, but I didn't.Would you kindly print it again? It could be very useful to parents and children in this situation. Thank you.

- A Parent in Edina, Minn.

Dear Parent: The contract was the brainchild of "Proud Parents" in 1988, and although I have run it many times, here it is again 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 our 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 privilege 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.





Date: 1/3 Submitted by . . .

Proud Parents

Dear Abby: After reading the letter from "Curious in South Carolina," regarding the possibility of newspaper employees opening mail addressed to "Dear Abby," I have another question:

What do you do with the letters you receive after they are used (or not) in your column? Are they shredded and discarded? (I hope the latter!) Most especially if the writer has included a name and address.

Some of that information is highly personal, and I'm sure readers would feel better if they knew their revelations had absolutely no chance of falling into curious hands.

Would you care to comment?

- Faithful Reader in New York

Dear Faithful Reader: Be assured that all "Dear Abby" letters are held in the strictest of confidence. Those that have special significance are kept - but all letters that could be potentially damaging are promptly destroyed.

Dear Abby: A family member recently died in a tragic accident, and the outpouring of generosity from the community was overwhelming. People sent flowers, cards, money and food.

Unfortunately, many of these gifts had no return addresses. Abby, please ask your readers to attach names and addresses to gifts so the givers can be thanked, and the dishes, platters and cake tins can be returned.

- Stumped in Seattle

Dear Stumped: That bit of advice has been in my column numerous times, but it bears repeating.

Readers, it would be a kindness to send cookies and cakes on paper plates, and hot dishes and salads in disposable foil pans, with your name, address and telephone number securely taped to the containers.