LIVES could be saved and serious injury reduced if the Government was not so ''tight-fisted'' with its road safety budget, according to the Automobile Association. The group's chief executive, Phil Taylor, has joined the police in criticising the small amount of money spent on road safety education. He also called for a change in the enforcement of drink-driving laws, after an unpublished police study of blood samples taken from drivers killed in traffic accidents showed six per cent were over the legal alcohol limit. ''Nowhere near enough money is spent educating the driver and the road user in Hong Kong,'' Mr Taylor said. ''There is a definite relationship between the amount of money spent on education and deaths and accidents caused on the road.'' Although he did not consider Hong Kong to have a major drink-drive problem, he said enforcement of the law in the territory was ''mildly archaic'' as suspects could not be breath-tested. Just days before this year's Road Safety Day on October 9, Chief Superintendent (Traffic) James Walker also criticised the Government's lack of commitment to road safety education and its $500,000 budget. ''Education is not really the role of the police force. Other organisations, such as the Road Safety Council, deserve more support from the Government, and perhaps the role of the police should be de-emphasised,'' he said. In the first nine months of this year 227 people were killed on the territory's roads, 2,488 people were seriously injured and 11,078 slightly hurt. Two thirds of all casualties were pedestrians. The figures are in line with the previous two years, 328 being killed last year and 315 in 1991. For the past two years, drivers following other vehicles too closely and driving too fast accounted for nearly 20 per cent of all accidents. Mr Walker said the annual social cost of accidents in the territory, including loss of working hours, insurance payouts, hospital and police time, was $1.5 billion. He added that letting police breath-test drivers involved in traffic accidents would be a step towards fighting drink-driving. A Government Information Services spokesman said $8 million was allocated this year to 14 publicity campaigns, including road safety. She said the Road Safety Campaign had enjoyed ''priority campaign status''.