Highway 97. (file photo)

Only a matter of time until ‘Okanagan Bob’ is identified, police say

The notorious Hwy. 97 driver’s identify can’t be released until he commits a criminal offence

People may be wondering who the notorious Highway 97 driver known as Okanagan Bob is, but his name won’t be released by the RCMP because he hasn’t been charged with a criminal offence.

Traffic Services media relations officer Cpl. Mike Halskov said they can’t release his name by law, but it’s likely only a matter of time before a criminal offence occurs.

”It isn’t that we are refusing to publish the person’s name, it is that we are prohibited in law from doing so because the person has not been charged with a criminal offence,” Cpl. Halskov said in an email.

“In my experience, I suggest it is only a matter of time before that occurs, but for that I ask for your patience; we will undoubtedly come across this person again, at which time the evidence will dictate whether we recommend criminal charges that may include dangerous driving.”

Okanagan Bob was slapped with an eight-month licence suspension on Sept. 17 after clocking in 45 kilometres over the speed limit on his commute between Lake Country and Vernon.

READ MORE: RCMP put brakes on notorious Okanagan driver

“Up until now, this person has only hurt himself,” Cpl. Halskov said. “Mostly in the pocketbook.”

RCMP members investigated Okanagan Bob’s daily commute over three days and he was stopped on Aug. 29, 2019, and issued several tickets.

He was hit with two counts of excessive speeding, driving without due care and driving without consideration, Central Okanagan Traffic Services Sgt. Bryce Petersen said. Cpl. Halskov said the incident landed the driver with 18 driver penalty points on this event alone.

“Under the new ICBC insurance regime, I would think his premiums will rise considerably,” Cpl. Halskov said. “I suggest it will be very costly for him when it comes time to re-apply for his driver’s licence once his prohibition expires.”

Okanagan Bob first came to public and police attention three years ago after dash-cam videos were posted to YouTube. In December 2018, more complaints came forward about Okanagan Bob’s erratic and aggressive driving.

Police first put the brakes on Okanagan Bob on Dec. 6, 2018. He was issued a ticket, his vehicle was impounded for seven days and he was issued a Level 1 vehicle inspection notice that removed his Dodge pickup truck from the road for a while.

“If he continues to drive as he has demonstrated in the past, it is only a matter of time before innocents get injured or killed,” Cpl. Halskov said. “Obviously we don’t want that to happen.”

In the meantime, Cpl. Halskov wants to remind motorists driving is a privilege in British Columbia.

“The simplest way to avoid getting tickets, having your vehicle impounded and receiving a driving prohibition is to drive defensively, obey speed limits, wear seat belts, drive sober and drive distraction-free.”

READ MORE: Vernon dancing stars raise $178,000 for hospice society

READ MORE: 2 ‘transient’ men arrested after alleged assault on Kin Beach: Vernon RCMP


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Evacuation alert for homes near Dry Lake fire rescinded

Fire status changed to Under Control, crews remain on site patrolling and extinguishing hot spots

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

COLUMN: Listen to those who know about COVID-19

Accurate information is essential when understanding the pandemic

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate from home

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Vandals target North Okanagan camper

COVID-19 ‘No camping’ warnings sprayed on local camper

Fundraiser launched for West Kelowna family who lost their home to fire

The family’s Sunview Drive home was destroyed after an accidental fire on Aug. 6

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

B.C. health minister applauds Kelowna Mayor, council for COVID-19 outbreak response

‘I think they are a model of how we respond’ - said Health Minister Adrian Dix

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Vernon social justice group rallies to raise awareness for human trafficking victims

Indigenous women make up 4 per cent of Canadian population, 50 per cent of trafficking victims

Most Read