LAWRENCE – This month, KU Transportation Services will begin using a new device, called The Barnacle, that will be used in certain situations in lieu of towing. The Barnacle is a lightweight, GPS-equipped device that is attached to the windshield using two large suction cups, preventing the vehicle from being driven by blocking the view of anyone sitting in the driver’s seat.
The Barnacle is a more passive way of enforcing certain University of Kansas parking rules and regulations compared to Transportation Services' current policy of towing the vehicle. It will be used to immobilize vehicles of flagrant violators. It allows the vehicle owner/driver to self-release the device without having to go to a different location and wait for someone to meet them in order to release the vehicle. It is also less expensive for the offender.
“Using The Barnacle will be less costly than towing, saving vehicle owners a portion of the regular towing fee,” said Donna Hultine, director of Transportation Services.
Once a traffic enforcement officer places a Barnacle on a vehicle’s windshield, it is held in place with 750 pounds of force, making it impossible to remove. Instructions on the Barnacle tell drivers how to make payment in order to receive the code to remove the device. If someone attempts to drive the vehicle with the Barnacle on the windshield, it will send an alert to parking enforcement officers.
"It can't be removed without the release code,” Hultine said. "There is an alarm if you try to remove it by yourself," and trying to remove it improperly may also damage the windshield.
The device, though, won't replace the tow truck in the near future. Transportation Services will start with two Barnacles but will continue to tow any illegally parked or unauthorized vehicle at its discretion on a case-by-case basis.
Use of The Barnacle begins June 21.
Visit parking.ku.edu/barnacle/ for more information.