Massachusetts has seen a dramatic increase in the number of drivers ticketed for texting while driving since legislation was passed in 2010 banning the dangerous practice.
State and local police wrote 6,131 tickets for the offense last year, up from just 1,153 tickets in 2011, the first full year the ban was in place, according to a report by the Boston Globe.
According to data from the state Transportation Department, people 40 and younger received the most tickets since 2010 -- more than three-quarters of them.
A little more than half of those ticketed in the Bay State -- 56.4 percent -- were male drivers, which contradicts data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
that shows women tend to be more likely to text behind the wheel.
“As a culture, we are more and more ‘addicted’ to staying in touch at all times,” Macek told the Globe.
The vigilance of police officers, who are now equipped with better tools for catching texting drivers, may also be a factor in the uptick in citations, Macek said.