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

Okanagan Symphony maestro joins KSS Music Showcase

OSO music direcor Rosemary Thomsom will MC the upcoming display of Okanagan music talent

Inaugural Barrels & Berms SBX World Cup continues at Big White

The snowboard cross event brings in Canadian and national stars

Rockets get healthy, snap streak with 3-2 win over T-Birds

Kelowna looks for more wins Saturday with the first of back-to-back games with Giants

Language course helps to revitalize Okanagan First Nation language

“Learning a Language: nsyilxcən for Everyone” course kicks off in Kelowna on Feb. 4

Peachland looks to hire climate action coordinator

Coordinator would help city reach its carbon reduction goals

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

Help sought in developing family practices in South Okanagan and Similkameen

An estimated 15,000 people in region do not have a family doctor

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

Animal lovers cautioned against feeding urban deer – even if they beg at the window

Even if the deer press their little faces against your kitchen window… Continue reading

Highway 1 closed near Golden for high avalanche danger

DriveBC does not give an estimation for reopening

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Most Read