Oregon is experimenting with salting roads along a few state border crossings to de-ice them, but it has no plans to apply rock salt to Interstate 84, where a tour bus crash last month killed nine people.
Most neighboring states use rock salt on their roads, so drivers may face icier roads as they cross into Oregon, which has cost and environmental reasons for relying on sand and less-corrosive magnesium chloride.
Salt lowers the freezing temperature of water. But rock salt also rusts out vehicles and bridges, and Oregon doesn't want rock salt winding up in the Columbia Basin, the East Oregonian reported.
The Oregon State Police say the Dec. 30 tour bus crash happened on a stretch of road with ice and snow patches, but they have said it may take weeks to determine what caused it.
The crash, though, has raised the question of salting Oregon highways.
"Am I in the minority that feels like there is a moral obligation to this?" said Oregon truck driver Larry Phelps. "At some point we have to see that this is costing lives. I'm tired of seeing cars turned upside down on my route."
Phelps, 62, said the state is a running joke among truckers: "You can't wait to get out of the state so you can relax."