“Don’t Mess With Texas” Celebrates 30th Anniversary
The state-wide litter prevention program began in 1986 when trash would pile up on the highway faster than the state could clean it up. Texas turned to one man who could sing his way into their homes with a message and it worked. His name was Willie Nelson.
TxDot said it wasn't long until 98% of Texans said they knew the program's slogan, understood the problem, and as a result the state litter rate dropped 72%.
Some 30 years later, litter is still an issue in Texas with officials estimating some 500 million pieces of trash clutter our state highways. TxDot says the state spent 32 million dollars on cleaning up trash in 2015.
This year, they've re-launched the campaign with a slightly younger face. Willie Nelson's son Lukas will now sing his fathers message to his fellow Texas, with a new add just released by TxDot. Lukas sings, "Treat Texas like someone you love".
The state of Texas can fine individuals up to $500 for littering. The website DontMessWithTexas.org even allows individuals to report motorists who they see littering in the Lone Star state by clicking on the tab that says "Report a litterer".