RCMP put brakes on notorious B.C. highway driver

‘Okanagan Bob’ slapped with licence suspension, hefty fines

A notorious high-risk driver known as “Okanagan Bob” on YouTube was served an eight-month licence suspension on Sept. 17, after clocking in 45 kilometres over the speed limit on Highway 97 between the Lake Country area and Vernon.

“If you drive like a maniac, you need to expect to be apprehended,” Central Okanagan Traffic Services Sgt. Bryce Petersen said.

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 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 removing the Dodge pickup truck from the road

But it’s clear Okanagan Bob didn’t learn his lesson, Traffic Services said in a release.

In late August, Central Okanagan Traffic Services (COTS) started hearing similar complaints about a white Dodge pickup truck; excessive speeding, tailgating, aggressive driving and abrupt lane changes.

“This is the second time we have been able to apprehend him,” Sgt. Petersen said.

Sgt. Petersen said members of his team were able to follow Okanagan Bob in unmarked vehicles and witness some of the erratic driving behaviour first hand.

“Officers witnessed him almost push vehicles off the road,” Sgt. Petersen said.

Over a three-day period, members of COTS observed Okanagan Bob’s daily commute between Lake Country and Vernon and on Aug. 29, 2019, he was stopped once again and issued a number of tickets.

He was issued two counts of excessive speeding, drive without due care and drive without consideration. Excessive speeding comes with a minimum of $386 fine and three demerit points; drive without due care rings in at $368 and six points; and the final charge comes with a $196 fine and six points. In addition, RCMP noted his vehicle was impounded for 30 days—as it was the second time Okanagan Bob’s truck was impounded.

Sgt. Petersen said excessive speeding—41 kilometres or more over the speed limit—results in an automatic seven-day impound. Multiple incidents results in a longer impound period.

“This kind of aggressive driving behaviour not only endangers innocent motorists, but it is completely unacceptable,” BC RCMP Traffic Services Cpl. Mike Halskov said. “The actions of this driver could have easily resulted in a catastrophic fatal collision.”

“My perspective is simple: we need to have safe roads and safe streets within our communities and on our highways,” Sgt. Petersen said.

Sgt. Petersen said excessive speeding is more common on the Connector than it is on Highway 97, but speeding is an issue.

“People speed more than they should (on Hwy. 97),” he said. “Especially on days like today when roads are wet and snow is coming.”

But for now, there is one less high-risk driver on the highway.

“That’s the whole purpose,” Sgt. Petersen said. “The general population wants that from the policing provided. We want to be safe in our homes and we want to be safe on our streets.”

“We want to be able to get to work and go home at the end of the day.”

Okanagan Bob’s true identity has not been released.

READ MORE: 2,500 Vernon residents remain without power after pole catches fire

READ MORE: Body of missing woman found in Okanagan


@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

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Kaslo councillor admits to ‘baiting’ member of public in email exchange

Kaslo Village Council to consider adopting code of conduct

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Cannings: MPs working from home important during Covid

“Ottawa is a hot spot for the virus at present … “

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read