‘Don’t mess with Texas’ campaign marks 30 years

Updated Apr 13, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.01.13 AMThe Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) is celebrating 30 years of its “Don’t Mess with Texas” campaign aimed at reducing roadside litter.

getstuff-30years“ ‘Don’t mess with Texas’ is more than an iconic slogan, it’s an appeal to our Texas pride to keep our great state beautiful and litter-free,” says Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin III. “It also serves as a reminder that each of us has a responsibility to put trash where it belongs and not toss it alongside our roadways. Whether you’re a tried-and-true Texan or just passing through, we’re here to remind you, ‘Don’t mess with Texas.’ ”

Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan help launched the campaign in 1986, followed by George Strait, Willie Nelson and Erykah Badu who “lent their voices and support.” The campaign’s public service announcements in April will include Lukas Nelson, the Eli Young Band and Grupo Fantasma.

The state’s annual “Don’t mess with Texas” Trash-Off, a collaboration between TxDOT and Keep Texas Beautiful, was held April 9 and is the largest one-day roadway cleanup effort in the state. In 2015, more than 85,000 volunteers at 1,500 trash-off events across the state helped collect more than 10 million pounds of recyclables and waste.

Additional “Don’t mess with Texas” Trash & Treasure Hunts are scheduled this spring in summer in each of the 25 TxDOT districts. Community residents will participate for a chance to win donated grand prizes from Texas-based YETI, AM Racing NASCAR driver Austin Wayne Self and other local and statewide partners, the agency says.

More details on the campaign are available at www.DontMessWithTexas.org.