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Towards Zero 
Improving safety in our towns and cities
Tasmania’s population is growing, and our towns and cities are busier than ever. Over $31 million is being invested in projects and programs to improve road safety in our towns and cities.

Almost one quarter of all serious injuries and deaths happen on city and local streets with a speed limit of 50 km/h or less. Over the last 20 years, the number of people seriously injured and killed on local and city streets has steadily declined. This achievement is the result of lowering the default urban speed limit to 50 km/h in 2002, safer vehicles, and the progressive installation of safer road infrastructure. In a crash, the human body can only tolerate a certain level of physical force before serious injury or death is inevitable. This is especially true for pedestrians and cyclists who have little or no protection in the event of a crash with a motor vehicle. That’s why setting safe speed limits, as well as ensuring drivers comply with these, is critical.

Cost-effective, small scale infrastructure treatments such as wombat crossings, pedestrian refuges, safety barrier, and kerb outstands can also significantly improve vulnerable road user safety. These treatments separate vulnerable road users from traffic, slow traffic, make pedestrians and cyclists more visible, and allow for staged crossing of roads.

Funding is provided to local government for infrastructure improvements to keep people safe around our schools, shopping centres, sporting facilities, and recreational areas, as well as on our local streets.


Pedestrians and cyclists are at high risk of serious injury or death if hit at speeds above 30 km/h. In Tasmanian major towns and cities, pedestrians and cyclists represent one in four serious casualties.


On busy state highways and arterial routes, shoulder sealing, safety barriers, line marking, and signage can reduce the likelihood of lane departure crashes occurring and reduce their severity when they do. This type of crash represents 40 per cent of serious casualty crashes in urban areas. Safer infrastructure can also help to reduce the 10 per cent of serious casualty crashes that occur at intersections. In small regional towns we encounter many different conditions and a variety of vehicles that travel our roads. It’s important to protect all road users especially those who are more vulnerable.

Action Plan Initiatives

  • Deliver targeted safety improvements for state roads

    Deliver a range of infrastructure upgrades to make our towns and cities safer to live, walk and drive in. This will include shoulder sealing, intersection improvements, safety barriers and pavement markings at high traffic areas. By targeting high volume roads that are not planned for major investment in the short term, they can achieve the maximum road safety benefit from the available funds.

  • Expand the Vulnerable Road User Program

    This annual grants program offers funding to councils to complete small-scale infrastructure treatments such as pedestrian crossings, dedicated bike lanes, upgraded footpaths, wombat crossings and other traffic calming measures. These improvements make towns and cities across Tasmania safer and more accessible for all types of road users.

  • Expand the Community Road Safety Grants Program

    This program supports local schools, community groups, councils, research institutions and charity organisations to promote and address road safety issues, making everyone more aware and involved in using our roads safely.

  • Investigate emerging technologies

    New technological solutions can reduce the likelihood of crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists in our urban areas. Emerging technologies will be monitored for suitability in the Tasmanian context and trials will be conducted where possible.

  • Demonstrate emerging infrastructure treatments

    Investigate innovative infrastructure treatments that can improve road safety in our urban areas to benefit all road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists.