Putting a boot on a car to crack down on illegally parked vehicles could be a thing of the past in at least one city, where parking enforcement officials are considering an alternative mechanism: a windshield lock that makes it impossible for parking violators to see anything, preventing them from driving away
They call it the Barnacle: a large, yellow thing that looks like an unfolded briefcase, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer, which attaches to the windshield with two suction cups, securing it with 750 pounds of force. It can only be removed with a keypad on the device, or wirelessly by parking enforcement.
Drivers in Allentown, PA are now facing the Barnacle treatment if they run afoul of parking regulations as part of a pilot program, and if it proves effective there, the Philadelphia Parking Authority might give it a go in Philly.
“Can’t I just stick my head out the window and drive off?” you might be asking. Sure, but it’s illegal, and not as easy as you might think.
“If you ever actually try to drive that way, it’s physically very difficult,” Kevin Dougherty, president of New York-based Barnacle Parking Enforcement tells The Inquirer. “Cars are designed to keep you in.”