A DRIVER with a staggering 39 points on their licence is still being permitted to get behind the wheel.

Almost a hundred motorists with enough points to trigger a ban are still using Bolton’s road network, the latest DVLA figures show.

The most shocking case related to one Bolton-based driver who has a huge 39 penalty points to their name.

However a senior figure of the courts sentencing council explained there are ‘legitimate’ reasons a driver may have excess points on their licence and still be allowed to drive.

Chairman Lord Justice Holroyde said: “The council is aware of public concern that offenders who have incurred 12 penalty points or more are not always disqualified from driving.

“There are legitimate reasons why this might happen: the law allows for such a disqualification to be avoided or reduced for reasons of exceptional hardship.”

In total, at least 90 drivers registered to a Bolton postcode have not had their right to drive taken away from them despite having a minimum of 12 points on their licence - three drivers clocking in with 20.

Road Safety charity Rospa said it was concerned that there are so many drivers with speeding convictions in the country.

Nick Lloyd, the organisation's head of road safety, added: “More concerning is that a proportion of these drivers, despite having accumulated 12 points or more on their licence, are still on our roads.

"Unfortunately some drivers either intentionally or unintentionally drive above the speed limit, thereby placing themselves, their passengers and other road users in danger."

The DVLA figures show there are 283,540 drivers with full or provisional licences in Bolton, with a combined 70,929 points between them.

Across Great Britain, 2.7 million drivers, aged between 15 and 102, have at least one point on their licence.

Road safety charity Brake said the law should be used to its fullest extent when dealing with "selfish" speeders.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns, said: "There is no justification for travelling over the speed limit, especially as people should still be minimising their journeys in lockdown.

"It is extremely important that all drivers recognise that speed limits exist to help save lives and that any crash add burden to our stretched emergency services and NHS."

The Sentencing Council recently concluded a consultation on driving offences disqualifications, with revised guidelines set to be published later this year.

A Government spokesman said: “Speeding puts the lives of drivers and others at risk, putting needless pressure on our emergency services which should be focused on helping the nation battle Covid-19.

“The presence of a valid driving entitlement does not mean that all individuals are actively driving in the UK, and these statistics include cases where drivers have rightly been punished for the breaking the law, and have received court sentences including disqualification, supervision orders, community orders or imprisonment.”