State data show that the number of people getting ticketed by police for texting while driving in Massachusetts has steadily increased since it became illegal six years ago.

The state Transportation Department says 6,131 were given tickets for texting behind the wheel, up from 1,153 in 2011, the first full year the law took effect.

Of the more than 18,000 tickets issued for texting while driving from the year the law took effect in 2010 to mid-April of this year that more than 56 percent were issued to men. People age 40 and younger received more than 75 percent of the tickets.

The most common time of day to receive a texting-while-driving ticket was 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the evening commute.