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.

Just Posted

RCMP search for Sparwood man wanted on numerous warrants

Twenty-nine-year-old John Garszczal is wanted by police

Elk Valley and South Country: Polls now open in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Which party will be chosen to form the next government?

LGBTQ novel talking point at Distillery Discussions

Distillery Discussions is the second time Fernie Pride has hosted LGBTQ authors.

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Young man and elderly woman located by Fernie Search and Rescue

The pair had left Fernie to recover a vehicle that had run out of gas towards the Flathead

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Most Read