Astatula Elementary student invents device to stop speeding near school buses

Fifth-grader's invention places first at Lake County Regional Science Fair

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – When an Astatula Elementary fifth-grade student continued to see cars speeding past her stopped bus, she decided to take action.

Julia Dumont won first place at the Lake County Regional Science Fair for her invention aimed at improving bus safety.

"There are a lot of boys and girls around the world who are dying when they get hit by cars trying to get off the bus," she said.

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She created a flashing light bar with a stop sign. It's made of a 7-foot PVC pipe, equipped with two 2 1/2-foot flashing LED bars and an additional stop sign.

"And lights. Extra lights because they're not seeing stop signs. That's the most common excuse," she said.

Julia tells News 6 she thought about her design for about a month before putting it into action.

As part of her research, she interviewed a longtime Lake County bus driver, who told Julia cars speed by her stopped bus two or three times a week.

Julia said she plans to show her design to the Lake County school board.

Her goal is to have a light bar installed on every bus in Lake County and eventually every bus in Florida. She suggests the bars could be funded by requiring front license plates on cars in Florida.

About the Author:

Julie Broughton's career in Central Florida has spanned more than 14 years, starting with News 6 as a meteorologist and now anchoring newscasts.