Could you soon be greeted by the ‘barnacle’ instead of the boot? Parking clamp causes US outrage

Could you soon be greeted by the ‘barnacle’ instead of the boot? Parking clamp causes US outrage
A new parking clamp has caused a stir in the US for the expensive fines associated with its removal.

The ‘Barnacle’ attaches to windshields using powerful suction cups, blocking the drivers’ view, and can only be released by entering a code.

One student in Texas claimed she paid more than $900 (around £700) to receive the release code.

The controversial clamp has been adopted by towns, hospitals and universities across America. Students feel particularly aggrieved as their campuses fail to provide enough parking.

One angry student tweeted: "The amount of sheer rage festering in my body right now... this is what I'm in thousands of dollars of debt for? I pay how much to go here and you continue to exploit us in ludicrous ways for profit?"

The plastic device from security firm Ideas that Stick, blocks motorists’ view of the road with 750 pounds of suction pressure, but can be released by paying a fine through an app.

If a driver attempts to remove the clamp an alarm is triggered and they risk damaging their windshield.

Similarly, if someone attempts to drive with the Barnacle attached to their vehicle, an alert is sent to parking enforcers.

Barnacle CEO Kevin Dougherty explained that the device was only used when drivers had parked illegally or failed to pay parking fines.

The University of Oklahoma have suspended a trial of the device as students shared inventive ways to prise it from vehicles without having to pay.

One Reddit poster claimed they had even removed a sim card from the device and used it to access the internet for free.

Mr Dougherty said improvements have since been made to the design of the Barnacle and 40,000 had been deployed and returned without incident.

Car clamping on private land has been banned in the UK since 2012. However, you could find your vehicle clamped if your insurance is invalid, your vehicle is parked illegally, or it’s considered a danger to other road users.

What do you think about this bonkers new clamping tool? Would you have a go at prying it off too? Let us know in the comments.

3 months FREE breakdown cover

With 12 months of Ultimate cover, new customers get 3 months for free!* Plus, get roadside and home rescue as standard, only with the RAC.^

*With 12 months of Ultimate cover for new customers. Ends 5/05/21 7am. ^Vs AA and Green Flag.