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Motorcycle riders alerted to threat of ‘tar snakes’ on roads

The intersection of UT-193 and Hill Field Road outside the  South Gate at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The intersection of UT-193 and Hill Field Road outside the South Gate at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. 75th Air Base Wing Safety issued a warning to motorcycle riders in June about the danger of asphalt cracks sealed with tar, creating what's often referred to as "tar snakes." With temperatures gradually warming into the summer months, the tar can become soft and may increase the risk of a motorcycle rider losing control. (Courtesy photo)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Sealing road cracks with tar is a common road maintenance practice that doesn’t pose a major threat to most motorists. However, it can be dangerous for motorcycle riders.

A “safety flash” was recently distributed to Hill Air Force Base riders by 75th Air Base Wing Safety about a potential safety concern at the intersection of UT-193 and Hill Field Road outside the installation’s South Gate.

Safety flashes are occasionally distributed to organizations to as part of the installation’s mishap prevention program.

The notice identified several asphalt cracks sealed with tar at the location, creating what’s often referred to as “tar snakes.”

The office said at least one rider exiting Hill AFB southbound and turning left eastbound on UT-193 reported his front wheel slipping on the tar while turning left.

With temperatures warming during the summer months, tar can become soft and could increase the risk of a motorcycle rider losing control.

Riders are encouraged to watch for this other safety concerns. For more information or to submit a safety flash, call 75th ABW Safety at 801-777-SAFE (7233).