TORONTO - Drivers owe Ontario municipalities more than $1 billion in outstanding traffic tickets.

The Ontario Association of Police Service Boards is asking the provincial government for help to collect unpaid traffic tickets, which it complains have grown to exceed $1 billion.

Attorney General Chris Bentley says the government introduced changes last fall that gave municipalities more power to collect fines for speeding and other traffic offences.

He calls the unpaid fines "a heck of a lot of money," and says the outstanding sum must be collected, both for the revenue and to show traffic laws are being enforced.

Bentley says the province is willing to listen if the police boards think they need more powers to go after speeding motorists from the United States who simply ignore tickets they get in Ontario.

Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne calls the $1 billion in unpaid fines "unacceptable."