Late licensing thought to have aided road crash drop

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As surprising as it might sound, it seems that the UK's later pub licensing laws may have contributed to a lower rate of road crashes.

Late licensing was introduced in 2005, and allowed pubs, clubs and other drinking establishments to open until midnight, 1am, and sometimes even later. More than 60 per cent of pubs now operate under the new rules.


Some commentators had feared that it may result in an increase in incidents on the road as more people tried to drive drunk.

However, the results of a new study, carried out by economists at Lancaster University Management School, seem to suggest otherwise.

They show that just one month after the new laws had been introduced, police reports of crashes had fallen by 13 per cent.

That translates to a reduction of around 1,643 crashes.

Analysis of the research showed that the biggest fall was in accidents involving younger drivers, specifically those between 18 and 25 years old.

Experts are explaining the findings by suggesting that the longer drinking hours mean more people are now incorporating a taxi ride home into their plans, rather than attempting to drive home.

They also think it's likely that fewer people are drinking faster in order to cram in more drinks before closing time, and that there is less call for a 'swift one' followed by a drive home under the influence.