JAYDEN Thorne is the 1000th driver to complete the defensive driving program run by the Jason Rich Foundation which aims to save teenager's lives.

The 17-year-old celebrated a milestone with the local charity last week which funds defensive driving lessons for young people learning to drive.

Jayden said that the main reason he took part in the program was due to it being free of charge.

"I wanted to take part in the course so I could really learn how to handle a car in certain situations before I went for my Ps test," he said.

The Jason Rich Foundation was established and named after the 21-year-old from Yeppoon who died in a car accident in 2009.

Jason Rich's best friend Jake Mcluskie said the charity's aim was to educate young drivers so they change the way they act behind the wheel.

"We aren't doing enough to change how we drive on our roads," he said.

"It's something we can control and we can teach people to drive with knowledge."

The program seems to certainly be working as Jayden said he viewed driving in a different light.

"The best part of the program was being told how to deal with situations and having the peace of mind that I now know how to react in those situations," he said.

Jake said that it was amazing to see kids learn.

"You can see the light bulbs going off in their heads and you know they are leaving as a safer driver," he said.

Jayden recommended the program to other teens as it provided skills you couldn't learn anywhere else.

"I think the foundation is a really good cause and I hope they continue to do the work they do," he said.

"It is a wonderful program that is helping a lot of young drivers."

The Jason Rich Foundation hopes to reach one million program participants by 2070.



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