ASTATULA, Fla. – News 6 first introduced viewers to Astatula Elementary student Julia Dumont two weeks ago when she had had just won the Lake County Regional Science Fair with an invention designed to keep students safe while getting on and off the school bus.
When News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero saw Julia's "Magic School Bus" project, he knew he just had to meet the 10-year-old girl.
Julia visited Montiero at the News 6 studios. She brought along her prototype, a 7-foot PVC pipe, equipped with yellow reflective tape and flashing LED lights.
"This is the most impressive thing I've ever seen from a grade school student," Montiero said. "The idea is 100 percent spot on. The concept is genius and what I get excited about is your intent behind it. You're just truly trying to help people and save lives."
Montiero presented Julia a certificate of appreciation for her safety innovation.
"It feels really good to know that someone who actually deals with traffic is helping me, trying to push me forward," she said.
Julia said her next step is appearing before the Lake County School Board to ask members to put the bar on buses, and Montiero said he'd love to go along with her.
"Looking at this, I would go with you, because this is something I feel would legitimately reduce crashes almost immediately and save students from being hit," Montiero said.
To learn more about Julia's invention, check out our previous story here.