INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There’s trouble on the roads for those who drive motorcycles. It has to do with the way crews are patching roads across Indiana.
The issue is the black curving stripes of sealant we see scattered across roads. Bikers call them tar snakes. If you drive a four-wheel vehicle, you’ve probably never noticed it, but for those on just two wheels, they say it causes major traction issues.
“You’re part of the motorcycle and you feel everything. Every bump, every twist, every turn, every lean,” Jay Jackson, ABATE of Indiana Executive Director, said.
Jackson said when you feel a tire slide on a curve, it’s unnerving.
“It would be like riding and hitting a patch of ice on the road,” Kenneth Harris said.
Harris is an ABATE officer and also an INDOT employee.
Many motorcycle riders said tar snakes can cause slips and slides, especially in hot or wet weather. The stripes can rope up or become slick. Not so much when you can quickly ride over them, but more than they run parallel to your path.
“The question comes up with mostly the material and maybe even the application. When they put this in, if there’s too much of it, it can make a slippery reduced traction situation,” Jackson said.
A 2003 study out of California supports that. Researchers said common examples of poor sealing and filling methods include excessive use of sealant and multiple uses of treatments over the years. It goes on to say ‘these practices directly impact traffic safety, smoothness.”