PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla . — If you've racked up unpaid parking tickets in West Palm Beach - heads up, there's a new device to get drivers to pay up and reduce violations. It's called the Barnacle, an immobilization device to expedite revenue collection.
Rojay Morrison calls parking enforcement a job that never gets boring. There are expired meters, registrations and handicap parking violations to hunt. And he's also driving in parking garages for a list of other non-moving violations.
“Expired tags, protruding vehicles, people taking up two spaces,” Morrison said.
His boss says now add the number of limited parking spaces in areas throughout the city under development and the issue mounts.
”We had to have an effective enforcement program to ensure that those who pay for their time on the meter adhere to that time and once that time is over with they need to go ahead and depart or either move to the garages so we have spaces available on the street,” said Edward Davis, Parking System Administrator for West Palm Beach. “I think we had a case where even [the driver] had $600 to $700 worth of unpaid tickets by the time the boot had been applied."
Effective Nov. 6 the Barnacle will now be placed on vehicles within city limits that have three overdue violations. Parking enforcement says it's faster and easier for them to apply and remove than a boot. There's also a GPS tracker inside and an alarm that sounds if the motorist tries tampering with it or attempts to move the vehicle.
“Help drivers, if you will, adhere to the posted parking restrictions,” Davis said.
Removing the device also means less work for the city. Instructions to release it are on the device once fees are paid. Drivers will then have to take it to one of three city drop-boxes.
This isn’t the first Barnacle to arrive in South Florida, two years ago it appeared in Stuart. It’s also utilized in Fort Lauderdale.