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

No games, no fans: Nelson Soccer adjusts to pandemic restrictions

The association has been offering skills training at Lakeside Park

COLUMN: Think local first more vital than ever

Tom Thomson writes about how the Chamber of Commerce is helping local business

New book reappraises Silvery Slocan mining rush

Peter Smith has published Silver Rush: British Columbia’s Silvery Slocan 1891-1900

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Thousands of dollars in stolen rice found in B.C. warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

NDP wants Lower Mainland MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

Most Read