Since 2013 Roberto Cláudio Rodrigues Bezerra has served as the Mayor of the City of Fortaleza, the fifth largest city in population in Brazil, with over 2.6 million inhabitants. He is a physician, graduated from the Federal University of Ceará and holds a master's and Ph.D. degrees in Public Health from the University of Arizona (USA). Previously, Roberto Cláudio was elected State Representative in 2006 and re-elected in 2010 when he was unanimously chosen by his peers to be the President of the House.
As a professional, his focus has always been planning, promoting, and evaluating public health policies. As soon as he stepped in office for the first time, he determined the creation of a highly qualified technical group to study sustainable and safer solutions for urban mobility. As the interventions succeeded and the awareness of safer transportation was raised, with the support of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety, Mayor Roberto Claudio took bold steps increasing the cycling infrastructure by 275%, implementing 4 different types of bike sharing systems. At the same time, investments in public transportation reflected to a greater degree a road safety focus, with over 30 times more dedicated bus lanes. Other innovations to the city also took place, with low-speed zones near schools and hospitals, as well as temporary interventions reclaiming spaces for pedestrians. He also invested in mass media campaigns while simultaneously enhancing law enforcement, as a behavior change strategy.
Mayor Roberto Claudio is credited with a paradigm shift in the city, that promoted the road safety agenda as a priority aspect of his administration and increasing awareness of the population on the need for safer traffic. During his two terms, the number of road traffic deaths per 100,000 people decreased by 40% from 2014 to 2018 – with an estimate of 423 lives saved during this period. The city has also doubled its green coverage and has received recognition, nationally and from abroad. This year Fortaleza received the Sustainable Transportation Award. His second term goes on until 2020 when the city aims to reduce road traffic deaths by more than 50%, as stated in the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.