June 19, 2014 12:40 am

Number of distracted driving tickets up, but are they making any difference?

WATCH: Four years after BC’s distracted driving laws came into effect, why are so many people still on the phone while driving? Catherine Urquhart reports.

VANCOUVER – Last year a total of 53,000 tickets were handed out in B.C. for distracted driving, which is up from 48,000 in 2012.

Since legislation was introduced in 2010, there have been 160,000 tickets handed out, which are worth $167 each.

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The tickets generate millions of dollars in revenue, about 8.85 million last year alone, but the real cost is human life. Countless accidents have been linked to distracted driving.

In 2010, distracted driving was a contributing factor in 104 collision fatalities in B.C., according to the RCMP. That number appears to have dropped slightly to 81 people in 2012, which is the last year that stats are available.

The NDP believes maybe it is time to consider more enforcement, rather than just handing out tickets.

“We need to look at more public awareness,” said Kathy Corrigan, public safety critic. “Look at other possibilities for enforcement, perhaps increase the penalties but I think that’s an analysis that the minister has to do, and we’ve had three years, four years now, of records here, of trying to do it this way and clearly it’s not being effective.”

- With files from Catherine Urquhart

© Shaw Media, 2014

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