CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston City leaders are rolling out a new parking enforcement pilot program.

Beginning on May 9, a device called the Barnacle will be used to immobilize vehicles if the owner has outstanding parking fines. This program will last through the end of 2022.

The large yellow clamp is suctioned onto the vehicle’s windshield. The owner can either pay over the phone by dialing the number provided on the clamp or use the Barnacle app. After a few minutes, authorities will be around to remove the device.

According to Tyrone Lawrence, the Director of Parking Services, the driver will need to pay their outstanding fines, plus $50 to activate the device and $30 for maintenance. Lawrence said if the device is tampered with, it will cost $500, and officials will be notified.

There is also a GPS on the Barnacle to track the vehicle should the owner attempt to drive away.

Lawrence said the barnacles are more efficient than the boots.

“The goal is to do away with the boot at some point and bring in the Barnacle, which is much more user friendly, not only to the staff but also to the customers that we serve,” explained Lawrence.

When a car is booted, the owner can only pay by phone during business hours. As for after-hours, weekends and holidays, the driver must appear in person at the police department. The new system will eliminate that process.

Officials said it is also safer for Parking Services employees to attach the Barnacle, compared to the boot.

“Bending over in the middle of traffic is pretty dangerous,” explained Bart Piorkowski, a Parking Services Supervisor. “Being down, someone could knock us in the head, we have our backs to everybody. So, for safety’s sake, this is going to be very good.”

According to Charleston City leaders, they booted nearly 1,000 cars last year. They hope the Barnacle brings this number down.

Officials will decide if they want to continue the program at the end of the year. If renewed, they will add to the current supply of five devices.