Driving school geared to military families


Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

A new veteran-run driving school serving southern Vancouver Island is offering a discount to military members and first responders.

Isle Drive Driving School is owned and operated by a former submariner of the Royal Canadian Navy, PO2 (Retired) Joe Hayward. He spent 18 of his 21-year military career as a Naval Acoustics Operator based on the east coast, working mostly in Oberon-class submarines.

These days, instead of focusing on underwater surveillance, he introduces new drivers to the laws of the road. In January 2020 he revved up his small business venture.

“Driving is a milestone and safe driving is a must,” says Hayward. “Safety should go hand in hand with everything you do behind the wheel.”

He is not only the sole proprietor but also the school’s head instructor. Hayward holds ICBC Class 5 and Class 7 Driver Training Instructor licenses and has previous experience as an instructor. His business offers a 15 percent discount for immediate family members of military and first responders.

The Duncan resident says Isle Drive Driving School’s advantage over competitors is its private individual instruction to all customers.

Despite operating out of Duncan, he delivers training in Victoria, the West Shore, Ladysmith, the Cowichan Valley, and Chemainus with at-home or school pick-up available. Hayward conducts his class in a Toyota Prius, which is available for students to use for their final ICBC road test.

Isle Drive Driving School offers customers flexible hours, custom-designed programs, and in-car, one-on-one private driving lessons. Areas of instruction include: new driver training, defensive driver lessons, ICBC Road Test Preparation coursing, senior refresher lessons, court-mandated lessons and winter driving awareness lessons.

Hayward says owning a smaller-sized driving school gives him the opportunity to take the necessary time to make sure every one of his graduates is fully qualified to drive the streets with confidence.

“For young drivers just starting out, their driving road test is really one of the most important tests of their lives. Driving offers everyone independence in life, but knowing the right procedures is critical in getting to that point.”

His business follows strict health and safety protocols. These include having only one driving instructor and student in the car at a time, mandatory mask-wearing, hand sanitizer and hand washing, and rigorous cleaning of the vehicle. 

For more information about Isle Drive Driving School and how to book lessons visit www.isledrive.ca


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