The boot is one of the most nefarious forms of parking enforcement ever devised. Those wheel-immobilizing mechanical clamps have sent many a driver to the brink of madness, transforming cars into immobile sculptures. The boot is ruthless. The boot is brutal. The boot is efficient.
The windshield-blocking Barnacle, on the other hand? Not so much.
Created by New York-based Ideas That Stick, the Barnacle consists of a folding plastic tray with a pair of potent suction cups on its backside. If a meter maid or other law-enforcement official comes across an illegally-parked vehicle, he or she slaps the Barnacle across the windshield, obstructing the driver’s view until said driver calls the company’s hotline and pays the fine. Once paid, the driver receives the code to unlock the device, and is tasked with returning it within 24 hours.
Sounds foolproof, at first blush. But what’s to stop people from just driving with their head out the side window? (Or for that matter, from Jeep Wrangler drivers from folding the windshield down?)
These may not seem like long-term solutions in principle, but this is the real world. How many millions of people out there are driving around with windshields that are cracked, broken, or fogged up to the point of obscurity? And how many people do you think would be willing to drive around with this on, just as a way to save a few bucks and stick it to The Man simultaneously? Hell, we wouldn’t be surprised if having a Barnacle stuck to your car became a point of pride amongst select anti-governmental types.
Admittedly, the Barnacle does have some advantages over the traditional wheel boot. It’s much more compact, and appears far lighter. The company told DailyMail.com that the device’s ease of use compared with the heavy, awkward boot is one of its main advantages; not only does it make life easier for traffic enforcers, it lets The Barnacled toss it in their cars after they (legally, presumably) remove it.
Obviously, we at The Drive insist you respect all traffic and parking laws. But should you ever find yourself with a Barnacle stuck to your windshield, we can’t say we’d blame you if you chose to make like Ace Ventura and just—