POLICE Minister David O'Byrne has been urged to back up road safety infrastructure spending with more money for police road patrols, after three people have died on Tasmanian roads in as many weeks.
Mr O'Byrne yesterday announced $1.5 million funding for 18 projects statewide, including $80,000 each for electronic variable speed limit signs at Hobart Road, Kings Meadows, and Invermay Road, Mowbray, $30,000 for a pedestrian and cycle path at John Lees Drive, Dilston, and $12,700 for a pedestrian refuge at Reatta Road, Trevallyn.
Local governments are expected to chip in $1 million to match the Road Safety Levy funding.
Mr O'Byrne said the money was awarded to projects that provided a ``tangible increase in safety'' for vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
``We know that one in three serious injuries on our roads are vulnerable road users and one in four deaths on our roads are vulnerable road users,'' Mr O'Byrne said.
``So we need to respond as a community to make our shared roadways safer.''
Vulnerable road users make up a third of the 18 people who have died on Tasmanian roads so far this year.
Rates of serious injury were much higher - according to the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources almost half of the 156 people seriously injured on Tasmanian roads up to July 19 this year were pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists.
The road toll is up three on this time last year and department figures show alcohol, drugs, speeding and inexperience remain the leading cause of crashes.
Opposition police spokeswoman Elise Archer said the increase in serious crashes over the past 12 months corresponded with a decline in road safety policing.
``While there is no silver bullet solution to reducing road fatalities, a highly visible police presence is crucial to ensuring better driver behaviour,'' Ms Archer said.
Mr O'Byrne said Tasmania Police had taken on 50 new recruits, who would graduate next year.
The state's road toll stands at 18.