Drivers urged to take responsibility

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Police patrol hours did increase in 2013 but there is only so much government and police can do to keep the roads safe, according to Police Minister David O'Byrne who urged Tasmanians to take responsibility for their driving.

The RACT made a plea yesterday  for the police budget to be restored to increase police on Tasmanian roads and to create a highway patrol force.

This came after a survey found 70 per cent of members thought high visibility policing had decreased, and 90 per cent said patrols acted as a deterrent for bad driving behaviour. 

 However Mr O'Byrne said  in 2013 Tasmania Police actually increased uniform patrol hours and undertook significantly more random alcohol and drug tests and speed camera roadside hours.

``It's very disappointing that preventable actions such as excessive speed, and alcohol and drug taking continue to be the main contributing factors,'' Mr O'Byrne said. 

``No amount of police can overcome this.''

Mr O'Byrne welcomed the RACT's focus on driver safety but said  despite increased policing too many Tasmanians were still speeding excessively, engaging in high risk traffic offences and continuing to drink and drive.

Opposition spokeswoman for police Elise Archer said  the Liberals planned to rebuild Tasmania's police service.

``We have already announced our plans to restore the Public Order Response Team and create a new Serious and Organised Crime Unit and we will make further announcements before the election,'' Ms Archer said.

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