DEAR ABBY: My niece, "Amy," got her driver's license last November. Since then she has been stopped six times for violations. Unfortunately, she wasn't ticketed for any of them — just given warnings. Who knows how many other times she should have been ticketed?

When Amy told me about it, she acted like it was a joke and something she was proud of. Her parents are divorced and her father spoils her beyond reason. He gives her whatever she wants, including buying her a new car. Her mother has little control over her.

My niece doesn't seem to understand the possible consequences or what serious damage a car can do to her or to someone else. How should I handle this? I have no contact with her father. Any ideas?

— Concerned Aunt in Massachusetts

DEAR CONCERNED AUNT: Although Amy was old enough to get her license, she is not yet mature enough to handle the responsibility that goes along with driving. For her sake I hope you will impress upon her mother that LIVES could depend upon her exerting control over her daughter.

Many states restrict conditions under which a teen may drive a car. In addition, many parents draft a driving contract that stipulates things like what kind of grade-point average their teenager must maintain to keep his or her driving privileges, limiting the number of passengers he or she can transport and certain distance limits.

Other restrictions can be added at the parents' option. n