Thursday, April 19, 2007

Combination lock clamping with one minor flaw?

Also in this morning's Times is the news that "DIY clamping" may be introduced. As the picture shows, a clamp will have a combination lock on it. When you get clamped you ring a company, pay a fine and a £150 deposit, unlock the car and take the clamp back within a week for your £150.

One minor problem, thatv looks to me like a six figure combination lock. True it will take you time, but what is to stop anyone simply cycling through from 000001 to 999999 until it unlocks. You can almost guarantee you won't have to go that far either because they'll probably be set to the clamping manager's date of birth which reduced the range down to somewhere between 010130 and 311299.

Or am I just too cynical? I mean, sure, it will take you bloody ages to cycle through the combinations, but if you don't have £200 odd quid available (deposit plus approx £50 fine) you might fancy sitting by the roadside and trying it, right?


Chris Paul said...

Yeah, but, no, but. Suppose you do have time for all that ... and let's hope that the cunning parking police don't read your blog and use their granny's phone number or the like ... they'll still have all the usual picture and written evidence and they'll know where you live thanks to contractors Fujitsu in or around Swansea ... so it'll be fine and tampering offence and conspiracy to pervert ... and do I need a better irony detector?

Anonymous said...

Also leaves the door open for rival companies to go around stealing clamps.

Still it's 1 million combinations (000000 - 999999) and lets say you are nimble-fingered and can do 1 per second. That's going to take around 11.5 days without a break.

Ross said...

301,169 best case - if it is set to a date. Best saw the f*cker off and claim that when you arrived back at your car there was a loose clamp dangled around your wheel but unlocked... you thought it a joke and drove off. Just wear gloves.

Ross said...

Your potato thing that isn't a potato has started to dance. Quite worrying.

Caroline Hunt said...

There was an odd phase when I was a kid for people to take combination lock briefcases to school rather than schoolbags. Meant you could keep everyone out of your stuff. Of course everyone reularly forgot their code to the six digit lock.

I definitely used to be able to work through it in less than an hour. It's a lot quicker and easier than you'd think.

Great idea though :) I'm looking forward to this form of social darwinism. Those smart enough to break a combination lock get to keep their money!

Anonymous said...


You can often feel when you've got the right digit in place. Also IIRC the locks are split into 2 groups of 3 and most people used the same 3-digit code twice over.

I assume the locks on the clamps will be a bit more serious.

Anonymous said...

me well id get a power tool hack the piece of crap off ,sling it in the canal and deny it was ever there or someone stole it.