AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Transportation today tunes up one of its greatest hits as it partners with top-notch Texas musicians for a brand new rendition of “Don’t mess with Texas.” Now in its 28th year, TxDOT’s iconic anti-litter campaign is back in the spotlight with help from Grammy-winning Tejano performer Sunny Sauceda and country music favorite Kevin Fowler. The well-known artists have each recorded new ads to educate the public on the importance of not littering.
“As litter continues to be an expensive problem for Texas, we feel it’s important that the critical Don’t mess with Texas message be delivered by influential artists who represent the true spirit of Texas,” said Commissioner Jeff Austin III, Texas Transportation Commission. “We’re so proud that these talented Texas performers are lending their voices to this famous campaign and reminding everyone that trash belongs in a trash can and not on our roadways.”
Joining the likes of George Strait, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lyle Lovett, this year’s talented duo proudly sings the praises of Don’t mess with Texas.
“It’s an honor to be part of this great campaign,” Fowler said. “There’s nothing I love more than Texas, and I’m excited to spread the word about keeping our great state litter-free.”
Researchers estimate nearly half-a-billion pieces of visible litter accumulate annually along state-maintained highways. In 2013, a study found that visible trash along more than 80,000 miles of state-maintained roadways was down 34 percent from 2009.
Additionally, about one-third of Texans — particularly young adults between the ages of 16 and 34 — admit to littering. Some of the most common litter found during roadside cleanups includes fast-food packaging, cigarette butts, candy wrappers and plastic bags.
“TxDOT wants to reduce litter and save taxpayers money,” said Margo Richards, director, Travel Information Division. “Our estimates show litter clean-up, on average, costs taxpayers more than $40 million annually. As our state’s population grows by 1,000 people each day, it’s important to continue reminding Texans and Texas visitors that littering isn’t just unsightly, it’s also against the law.”
In Texas, fines for littering can be as high as $500 for the first offense. Repeat offenders can face fines up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail.
For more information on the award-winning Don’t mess with Texas campaign, visit dontmesswithtexas.org.