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

CGL completes first in-field pipeline welds for Kitimat section of project

‘I never thought I’d live to see this day:’ Skeena MLA praises start of pipeline welding in Kitimat

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Housing committee recommends District deny strata application for 1425 Nalabila Boulevard

Council is set to consider the matter at their June 1 meeting

BC Hydro studying new power connection in northwest B.C.

Would supply hydro-electric power to planned LNG plant at Kitimat

Illicit overdose deaths on the rise during COVID-19: Northern Health

March 2020 saw a 61 per cent increase in illicit overdose deaths province-wide compared to February

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Most Read