By: Declan Kenny
Tobi Long’s career as a driving instructor began back in 2019 with Young Drivers, preparing drivers of all ages for the sometimes ominous task of operating a vehicle on their own. Since June 1st, 2023, Long has made it her mission to ensure that Dufferin County drivers are well prepared for whatever the road throws at them with the launch of her new business, Headwaters Driver Training.
There were many factors that drove Long to open her own driving school, one of those being passion. She mentioned her passion to have the ability to contribute to lowering the number of preventable accidents on Dufferin County roads, “I believe a lot of accidents are preventable and I think it’s very important to have skills in place to do that.” She emphasized it is important to teach new drivers the importance of instilling good driving habits that will stick with her students for life, “There is a lot of impatience and careless driving on our roads and I would really like to instill good habits.”
One of the distinctive issues that Tobi Long pointed out when deciding to open Headwaters Driver Training was the price of driving school continuing to rise. Long made reference to many driving schools saying, “I really felt that they were pricing themselves out of reach of a lot of people.” She emphasized that one of the goals of her driving school is to provide affordable driver training, continuing, “I really want to be able to offer affordable driving instruction to more people, I think it’s very important.” Long said one of the reasons she is able to offer lower costs is due to the lack of overhead due to her being a small business.
“I really want to be able to offer affordable driving instruction to more people, I think it’s very important.”
In terms of community involvement, Long certainly had some goals she intends to achieve with Headwaters Driver Training. She hopes to be a contributing factor in making Dufferin County’s roads safer. Another item she mentioned was collaboration with various towns in the County, specifically Orangeville. She stated her intention to bring attention to several issues with roads in the town, saying, “we’re missing some important speed limit signs and the issue of driving schools not being allowed to teach in the area of schools.” Long, specifically mentioned the fact that she is unable to teach her students how to deal with a controlled crosswalk due to it being located within the boundaries of Westside Secondary School in Orangeville. One request Long had for from the community when asked how they could support her business was, “Be patient and be kind.”
Tobi Long had a pitch for Dufferin County residents looking for driving school, “I will teach your son or daughter the skills to drive safely, defensively at an affordable cost.” Another component Long highlighted was the fact that she will take all of her students on an extensive freeway lesson, stating that not all companies will take students from the northern portion of the county down to Brampton to drive on Highway 410. She also brought up good customer service when dealing with Headwaters Driver Training, “If you call me, I will call back and I will build a very good relationship with my customers. I won’t ignore my customers.”
“If you call me, I will call back and I will build a very good relationship with my customers. I won’t ignore my customers.”
The reason Long opted to base Headwaters Driver Training in Orangeville and primarily serve Dufferin County was that it is her hometown. She said, “It’s because I grew up here, I’ve seen it really change over the years.” She also praised the people of Dufferin County saying, “I love the community, I’m teaching some of the kids of people I went to school with.”
If you want to find more information about Tobi Long, Headwaters Driver Training, how to book a lesson and pricing, you can visit her website: www.headwatersdrivertraining.ca/.