Back in May, we reported that Youngstown's Clerk of Courts was calling for a crackdown on unpaid parking tickets.

At the time, the clerk recommended an ordinance that would allow officials to place boots on the tires or blockers on the windshields of the city's worst parking offenders. 

Clerk of Courts Sarah Brown-Clark said there were more than $1 million in unpaid parking tickets in Youngstown. She noted that just the top 60 offenders made up almost $150,000 of that money.

"I realized at that point that we needed to do something," Brown-Clark said.

She asked city leaders for a crackdown.

"Soon as city council passes the ordinance, we will be putting car buckles on your windshield and boots on your tires," said Brown-Clark in May.

The proposed legislation is still in the works.

City Council Parking Committee Chairman Julius Oliver said specifics still need to be added to the plan and the goal will be to only use the devices on the city's worst parking offenders.

Many may be familiar with the boot that locks a tire in place, but the windshield device is fairly new and not yet commonly used in our area.

A quick online search discovered a device called the Barnacle. It's made by a company, Barnacle Parking Enforcement, based in New York and New Jersey.

Their device is advertised as being light-weight, compact, and easy for law enforcement to haul.

The company's CEO and co-founder, Kevin Dougherty, said the device uses commercial grade suction cups with one-thousand pounds of force to block the view of a driver. 

A GPS tracker sends an alert if someone attempts to remove the device forcibly.

"The philosophy behind the Barnacle is not to make it easier to take people's money. It's really is meant to make a tough situation better for everybody," said Dougherty.

The benefit to the driver is they can pay their outstanding tickets using their phone. They then receive a code to remove the device and have 24 hours to return it to a nearby drop box.

"It doesn't have to ruin a person's entire day. It can be somewhat of a more customer friendly experience," said Dougherty.

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