There's nothing quite like the dread that comes as you walk, jog or flat out sprint back to your car to try to add a little more change to the meter before you get hit with a ticket. That is, except, when your chariot starts to come into view and you notice that a big metal contraption has been latched on to one of the wheels. The vehicle boot — a locking clamp device that keeps a wheel from moving, at least without doing some serious Homer Simpson-style damage — has long been Johnny Law's preferred method of catching up with folks who neglect to pay off their parking infractions. A device from the company Barnacle Parking Enforcement, however, aims to take some of the cost and hassle out of the process.
The Barnacle stops parking violators from dashing off without paying what's owed to the meter maids. It's a flat immobilization device that uses super strong suction cups to stick to a windshield, so that drivers can't see where they're going if they try to flee the scene. (Watch Barnacle's own video at the top of this article to see it in action. ) Sure, Ace Ventura had no trouble cruising the streets of South Florida with his head out the driver's side window of his shot-up hooptie. But the Barnacle makes that move a little more difficult by sounding an alarm if the car moves from its parking spot.
The Barnacle's creator is pitching the product as a more efficient alternative to the boot. The device is lightweight, and can be folded and stacked for easy transportation. It can also be slapped onto a windshield with relative ease. That means no hunching over or kneeling to strap on a heavy boot while cars whiz by. It also includes a credit card swipe feature and key pad that allows a driver to pay off any tickets and get the Barnacle released without having to wait for parking enforcement authorities to show up on the scene.
Just don't forget to return the device to a predetermined drop-off point — otherwise you might end up booted all over again.