TV personality James Kavanagh and Cool FM's Melissa Riddell join forces with road safety stakeholders and industry representatives to reward and celebrate designated drivers this Christmas season.

TV presenter and author James Kavanagh joined the Road Safety Authority and industry partners at the Schoolhouse Hotel, Dublin 4, to launch the 15th annual Coca‑Cola Designated Driver campaign. In its 13th year in Northern Ireland, the launch of the Coca‑Cola Designated Driver campaign was celebrated by Cool FM presenter Melissa Riddell along with representatives from the PSNI and Department for Infrastructure at the Titanic Hotel, Belfast.

Coca‑Cola is encouraging people across the island of Ireland to take on the role of ‘designated driver’, staying sober on nights out to ensure loved ones and friends get home safely. Holidays are coming early for these unsung heroes, with two free soft drinks from the Coca‑Cola HBC range available to designated drivers throughout the month of December.

The Coca‑Cola Designated Driver campaign is launched at the Titanic Belfast

This year, Coca‑Cola, a brand so synonymous with Christmas, will also reward designated drivers by providing three allocated parking spots at the St Stephen’s Green Q-Park in Dublin and Victoria Square in Belfast. Available each weekend in December, designated drivers simply need to present themselves to security hubs at the Q-Park stations to benefit from parking free-of-charge when on a night out.

To spread the important message of road safety, influential broadcaster Melissa Riddell and social media personality James Kavanagh will also take on the role of designated drivers throughout the season. Lucky party-goers can be in with a chance of a lift and a night out with Melissa or James by commenting on their Coca‑Cola posts using #HolidaysareComing over the festive period on their respective Instagram pages, @MelissaRiddell and @JamesAlanKavanagh.

Influential personality James Kavangh and the RSA launch the 15th annual Coca‑Cola Designated Driver campaign

Long-time supporter of the campaign, Road Safety Authority CEO Moyagh Murdock said, “Drink driving is still a factor in three-quarters of road deaths between the hours of 10pm and 6am. That’s why, unfortunately, initiatives like Coca‑Cola’s Designated Driver campaign are still required. The designated driver campaign celebrates and rewards responsible, sober drivers, but most importantly it reinforces the importance of keeping our roads alcohol-free at this high-risk time of year. Take precautions on the roads this Christmas, and never, ever drink and drive.”

We want to ensure that designated drivers are rewarded for their selflessness by staying sober to ensure their friends and family can get home safely, and will offer two free soft drinks to these drivers at participating venues. We’re also proud to partner with Q-Park to further reward designated drivers with free parking in Dublin and Belfast throughout December. Miles Karemacher, General Manager, Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland, the Designated Driver campaign is supported by An Garda Síochána, the Road Safety Authority and Drinkaware. It is also backed by the Licensed Vintners Association, the Vintners Federation of Ireland, the Restaurants Association of Ireland, and the Irish Hotels Federation. In Northern Ireland, the campaign is supported by the PSNI, Hospitality Ulster and the NI Hotel Federation.

If you are a designated driver, avail of the two free soft drinks from the Coca‑Cola HBC range by simply making yourself known to bar staff at participating venues. Drinks from the range include Coca‑Cola, Diet Coke, Coca‑Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Deep RiverRock, Fruice and Appletiser.

Follow #HolidaysAreComing on social to be a part of the conversation.