Division of Highway Traffic Safety
Governor Phil Murphy appointed Eric Heitmann to serve as Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety (the “Division”) in March 2019. Since then, the Division has continued it’s mission to ensure the safe passage of all roadway users as the State of New Jersey moves toward it’s goal of zero roadway fatalities. To achieve it’s mission, the Division promotes statewide traffic safety programs through education, engineering and enforcement activities.
The bulk of the Division’s funding comes from the Federal Government, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The funding received by the Division is used to undertake state-wide traffic safety programs and is also dispersed to municipal, county, state government and law enforcement agencies, as well as non-profit organizations in the form of traffic safety grants.
Eric currently serves as NJ representative to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association as well as a GHSA Executive Board Member and U.S. Region 2 representative to the GHSA. He is also the Chairman of the NJ Highway Traffic Safety Policy Advisory Council (HTSPAC) and Vice-Chairman of the NJ Strategic Highway Safety Plan Executive Committee. He serves on the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Executive Board as well as the NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Council (BPAC) Executive Board and is a panelist on the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council’s Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Program (BTSCRP).
A 25-year veteran of the New Jersey State Police, during which time he rose to the rank of Major, Eric established himself as a well-respected expert in the field of traffic safety and crash investigation.
Eric served in the New Jersey State Police’s elite Fatal Accident Investigation Unit (FAIU) as Unit Head and was responsible for the investigation, re-investigation, review, or reconstruction of thousands of motor vehicle crash investigations including many notable and high-profile investigations.
Eric also served as the Troop D Traffic Officer for the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway and oversaw the traffic safety plan during the $7.2B widening of both roadways, receiving recognition from the Turnpike Authority for his efforts. He also served as the Troop D Commander responsible for all policing services on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway.
During his time with State Police, Eric was instrumental in many traffic safety and investigative initiatives.
He worked with County Assistant Prosecutors and the Office of the NJ Attorney General to form the NJ Prosecutors Crash Association as well as develop A.G. Directive 2004-2, the “Joint Crash Investigative Protocol”.
He re-wrote and revolutionized the State’s Motor Vehicle Racetrack rules, which became a national model of motor vehicle racetrack safety. He earned a Bronze level technical inspection certification from the NHRA during his duties as head of the NJ Motor Vehicle Racing Unit within the NJSP Fatal Accident Investigation Unit.
Eric has taught numerous technical courses and has presented many workshops including crash investigation and courtroom testimony classes. He developed programs for presentation to first responders, NJDOT employees, school students, EMTs, and motor vehicle racetrack owners and operators. Eric developed and executed hands-on training for fatal accident investigators and is a certified crash mapping and diagramming instructor.
Upon his retirement from the NJSP, Eric was the president of a full-service transportation safety consulting firm focusing on traffic safety, motor vehicle crash investigations, traffic and fleet safety, training, and motor vehicle racing compliance.
A native of Warren County, Eric is a graduate of Syracuse University, where he studied Engineering and Economics. He received further training by Northwestern University in advanced crash investigation and attended numerous other classes and seminars in traffic safety and crash analysis. Eric served on the NJ Advanced Autonomous Vehicle Task Force as Law Enforcement Committee Chair and is a member of the NJ State Traffic Officer’s Association and the Statewide Traffic Records Coordinating Committee.
Eric lives in Monmouth County with his wife and children.