JOHNSTON, Iowa — As we head into the 2022 Independence Day weekend, safety professionals want Iowans to consider their well-being on the roads, and on the water.

“We still continue here in Iowa to have a huge problem with people driving at what we call the egregious speeds,” said Alex Dinkla, of the Iowa State Patrol. “We’re not talking just 100, 101 miles an hour, we see people daily driving 120 ,130, or 140 miles an hour out on our roads and we can’t stress enough how dangerous that is.”

Dinkla also encourages people to obey the impaired diving laws and drive safely.

The main focus of the safety professionals was to emphasize water safety and life jackets. 

“Be safe If you’re going to be getting‘ on the water, life jackets are key,” said Greg Hand, Park Ranger at Saylorville for the US Army corps of Engineers. “Here at Saylorville Lake we have life jacket loaner stations at each boat ramp. Take advantage of those if you find might be short a life jacket or something like that go ahead and grab one, use it enjoy your day get back to the boat ramp safely.”

That advice applies to people on the lake and also those on rivers and streams in a canoe or kayak.

“Make sure you have your life jacket on because it does no good if you got it stuffed up under deck rigging,” said Todd Robertson, Outreach Coordinator of River Programs at the Iowa DNR. “You got to have a life jacket on for it to work and also know before you what the levels are and know how to navigate your canoe or kayak properly.”

If there is trouble on the water there are four fire departments set to respond, if needed. 

“The number one call that we’re concerned about out here is somebody who falls or jumps off a boat and they don’t surface back to the top of water,” said Captain Tristain Johnson, of the Johnston Grimes Metropolitan Fire Department. 

Johnston can bring two jet skis to a rescue call, and other departments also bring rescue boats.