HOUSTON - "Don't Mess with Texas" is getting messed with.
On Tuesday, the Texas Department of Transportation announced a revamped campaign designed to appeal to those born after the famous anti-litter ad campaign was launched 27 years ago.
TxDOT's first move is to resurrect the iconic red, white and blue trash barrels. The "CANpaign" will roll out more than 300 of these barrels across the state at travel information centers, popular tourist attractions, sports venues and other high-traffic locations to remind drivers to properly dispose of litter.
"We want to remind all Texans and visitors that trash belongs in a trash can and not along our roadways," said Phil Wilson, TxDOT's executive director in a statement released Tuesday. "That's why trash barrels are playing a key role in the re-launch of Don't mess with Texas®, our state's most critical and successful anti-litter campaign," Wilson said.
An estimated 1.1 billion pieces of trash are tossed along more than 80,000 miles of state-maintained roadways, according to TxDOT.
Last week, TxDOT announced, through Facebook, plans to roll out new billboards and commercials as part of the new campaign.
Litterers can be fined up to $500 for the first offense. Repeat offenders can face fines of up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail.
"Not only is it our responsibility to pick up our trash, but doing so reduces the amount TxDOT and taxpayers spend on litter prevention efforts," added Wilson. "In fact, our estimates show that these programs are saving TxDOT and taxpayers some $4.7 million annually."
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