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.