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

Water in Lake Cowichan just fine, says acting mayor

Tim McGonigle said there is no truth to rumours of water advisories

Cowichan Caps help BCHL score commitment record

The BCHL saw 172 players commit to post-secondary institutions this past season

Murray Hatfield and Teresa present evening of magic and comedy streaming live May 29

The Duncan Volunteer Fire Department is inviting you to an evening of magic and comedy

Chemainus animal sanctuary needs your vote in nationwide contest

RASTA is up for $5,000 from Nutram; contest runs until May 31

Woman charged in fatal accident back in court on June 2

Sara Rosetta Thomas faces six charges in 2018 incident

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read