A DRIVER who was caught doing 109mph on a 50mph road already had 42 points on his licence.

The 50-year-old, from Basildon, had been caught speeding six times including driving at more than double the speed limit on Royal Artillery Way, in Southend.

He received further penalties after failing to provide his details when sent notices by police.

But magistrates decided against issuing a driving ban after they decided it would result in “extreme hardship” due to loss of income. He is one of dozens of people across the country to be spared a ban due to “exceptional circumstances”.

A driver from Oxford, with 51 points, is the person in the country with more points who is still allowed on the road.

A Southend driver, with 30 points on their licence, is among 13 British drivers with 28 or more points who still hold their licences, according to figures obtained by the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

Drivers given 12 or more points on their licence within a three-year period can face disqualification, but judges are allowed to show leniency if it is thought that a ban would have an exceptional impact on their life.

IAM chief executive Sarah Sillars warned drivers may believe motoring laws are "ineffective or unimportant" if persistent offenders are not disqualified, and called for a "truly joined-up approach to the judicial process".

She said: "Individual courts making decisions on prosecutions can lead to inconsistency in how the law is applied, which risks devaluing the simple ‘12 points and you're out’ road safety message."

The numbers of drivers with 12 or more points has gone up by nine per cent in just seven months between March and October 2015, from 6,884 to 7,517.

A spokesman for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency said: "DVLA's role is to record the information provided by the courts.

"In exceptional circumstances the courts are able to use their discretion to decide whether or not to disqualify a driver if they plead the loss would cause exceptional hardship.

"However, the vast majority of drivers who get 12 penalty points are automatically disqualified."