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

The Ontario Association of Police Service Boards (OAPSB) 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 U.S. who simply ignore tickets they get in Ontario.

Surprisingly, there is no simple mechanism to make people pay their speeding fines — especially those living out of the province, said OAPSB president Alok Mukherjee. You can’t get arrested for getting a slew of speeding tickets, he added.