LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – Las Vegas is giving the parking enforcement boot, well ... the boot. The city spent nearly $5,000 upgrading to a device it said is safer, easier and smarter.
It’s called the Barnacle and it’s made up of two large suction cups using 750 pounds of force to lock onto a vehicle’s windshield.
The Barnacle is equipped with a GPS and tamper-proof system. Makers of the Barnacle claim the device is less damaging on a vehicle than a traditional boot. It’s also safer for parking enforcement officers who would normally have to kneel in traffic to apply the boot.
"Being able to use the barnacle, you can do it standing up, you can be on the traffic side, you can be on the curb side. Deploy as needed.” Said City of Las Vegas parking administrator Rhett Butler. “It's a lot faster for officers to [use it]."
Like the boot, drivers will only get the Barnacle if they have $200 or more in parking citations. If drivers try to take it off, an alarm will sound. And trying to pry the device off it could shatter the windshield. The Barnacle obstructs the driver’s view out the windshield. Trying to drive with the Barnacle attached is against the law.
“The GPS is active so once we see that Barnacle moving after deployment, we know that someone is hitting the road,” said Butler.
The Barnacle will alert parking enforcement officers if a vehicle moves with the Barnacle on it and drivers could be subject to more fines.
In order to remove the Barnacle, drivers will be prompted to call or go online using their phone. Once their fees are paid, the Barnacle will send the driver a code. Drivers will enter the code on the Barnacle and then it will release.
"Not an ideal situation when being immobilized [but] at least now you can pay for it a lot faster and not have to wait for an officer to come to your location and remove the boot,” said Butler.
Drivers will be charged a hold fee until the Barnacle is returned to a designated drop site. Right now the city only has one drop site in the parking garage near City Hall. The city has plans to expand the amount of drop sites.
The Barnacle won’t be in regular use until the city determines the amount for the hold fee but the discussion is on the table for the next meeting the first week in October. Parking enforcement is asking for a $75 hold fee.