RCMP put brakes on notorious Okanagan 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 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, Traffic Services 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 three days, RCMP members observed Okanagan Bob’s daily commute between Lake Country and Vernon and on Aug. 29, 2019, he was stopped once again and issued several tickets.

The tickets included 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. Also, RCMP said 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 result 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

Snowy softball in Sicamous

The 2020 snowpitch tournament took place at Finlayson Park on Jan. 18 and 19.

Sicamous Eagles have late-season struggle ahead to maintain playoff hopes

A loss against the Columbia Valley Rockies on Jan. 18 put the Sicamous squad further in the hole.

House show in Sicamous a country cure for the winter blues

Space is limited for the Feb. 1 show from Dirt Road Opera.

Son of Stomp planned for July in Silver Creek

Previously the event was held in Sicamous for 30 years

Word on the street: How do you spend a snow day?

When snow cancels school and your boss tells you to stay home,… Continue reading

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to give refund to B.C. buyer due to puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Telus invests in North Okanagan youth’s mental health

$10K grant will go towards in-class education, reducing stigma

Man dies in backcountry near Nelson’s Whitewater Ski Resort

The victim was found unresponsive in a tree well Friday

Cariboo Memorial Hospital back to normal after cold weather wreaks havoc

Burst pipes and water leaks cause three different incidents

Salmon Arm history in pictures: Retro driving sim

Is this a driving school? What were these young people doing? If… Continue reading

Dog reunited with Tofino owner, months after being taken from beach

Shannon Boothman ‘ecstatic’ at pet’s return after a tip leads to social media search

Site of planned Jumbo Valley ski resort to be protected, managed by First Nations

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

Huawei exec’s extradition hearing begins in Canada

China’s foreign ministry complained the United States and Canada were violating Meng’s rights

Most Read