Fear mongering is the main culprit. ToT usualy starts at 3:00, and most of the people who ToT are children, and they usualy let school out an hour early when Halloween is on a weak day. Also, last year and the year before, they extended ToT from 2 to 8, because of it being on a weekend, but when it's a week night (school/work night) itls 3 to 7. I totaly agree with you. It's very harsh and very draconian, but I think it's the fear that exists today.
When I was a kid, we raced home from school, put on our costumes, and ToTed to all hours of the night. I would go out right after school, bring home a huge bag of candy, then go to the Mt. Greenwood Park party and Spook House, and then I would go out for more ToTing. Those of us who went to St. Christina's didn't have school, so we had plenty of time to enjoy Halloween.
The bags of candy I would bring home were legendery by all standards.