Anyone using a buggy or a wheelchair knows how dangerous pavement parking can be. Now the proposed Catclaw Pavement Protection System could bring an end to selfish parkers – by automatically puncturing the tyres of cars that mounts the pavement.

Inspired by the reflective Cats Eyes that are common on British roads, the Catclaw is about the size and shape of half a small orange. It works by exposing a sharp steel tube that punctures the tyre of any car or van which drives over it. However, it’s completely safe for pedestrians as they aren’t heavy enough to activate the device.

Yannick Read, of the Environmental Transport Association (ETA), was inspired to create the gadget after viewing footage of vehicle-conducted terror attacks – and realised the Catclaw could help make pavements safer for everyone.

“Last year 43 people were killed by cars as they walked on a pavement or verge,” he said.

“In one terrible incident a four-year-old girl using a scooter and a delivery driver crushed her to death in front of her mother – it’s an extreme example but it happens far more than it should.

“When you think you’re safe on the pavement you aren’t safe.”

Can the Catclaw really prevent dangerous pavement parking?

While not practical in all situations due to narrow roads and a lack of parking spaces in many residential areas, but could prevent dangerous parking along vital clear ways – such as outside schools or at busy intersections.

Pavement parking is clearly a contentious issue, with pedestrians frequently left frustrated at having to step around parked cars into busy roads.

Last month we reported the story of one angry mum who resorted to using her lipstick to scrawl a message to a carelessly parked van driver.

What do you think of the Catclaw idea? Would you like to see them outside your child’s school or nursery?