WACO (April 2, 2014) It's a big song with an even bigger message.
The state’s Don't Mess With Texas campaign is in full swing this month, and the supporting song, recorded by Amarillo native, Kevin Fowler, is popping up on airwaves again to remind residents and travelers not to litter.
The Texas Department of Transportation says a recent study found that the worst offenders are people 18 to 34 years old, singles, Hispanics, and those with young children.
TxDOT spokesman Ken Roberts says there are about a billion pieces of trash on state roadways and it costs taxpayers $47 million dollars a year to clean up the trash.
Roberts says the amount of trash has decreased since the campaign started in 1985, but people continue to litter.
Fast food wrappers, lottery scratch offs, and cigarettes cover some areas.
Officials say they clog storm drains and can cause flooding.
They can even contaminate the environment.
The fine for littering is $500 for the first offense.
After that, it could rise to as much as $2,000 depending on what was thrown out.
Illegally dumping large items such as couches and tires or disposing hazardous chemicals carries stiffer fines.
The state’s annual Trash Off is Saturday.
Groups that have adopted portions of roadways will take part and individuals can sign up to help as well.