A 67-year-old music journalist duly paid a £30 fine after being sent evidence that he was driving in a bus lane.
However, Ian Pemble was so annoyed by what he considered the opportunist placement of the cameras that he asked for extra evidence from Bristol City Council – so they sent him a video of the incident.
"I nearly fell off my chair when I saw the video for the first time," said Mr Pemble.
The video shows that just seconds after the silver Ford Focus he was driving had moved across into the empty bus lane, he was joined by a stream of traffic, all making space for two fire engines on an emergency call out.
"I was absolutely delighted to find I was squeaky clean and a good boy. You can't have a better excuse than that," said Mr Pemble.
When the mistake was pointed out, Bristol City Council quickly refunded the fine and issued an apology.
A spokeswoman from the council admitted officers issued the penalty for the incident on the A4 in Bristol city centre without fully considering the circumstances.
The spokeswoman said the footage had been reviewed and it was clear that he had moved aside for a fire engine.
"However, it was missed in this instance in error. We will write to Mr Pemble to apologise."
Mr Pemble stated: "'I knew I was in the area but I wasn't sure whether I had just nipped into the lane at the last moment."
The council's spokeswoman concluded, "Motorists who believe they have received a penalty in error should always appeal. The council is happy to review any case and cancel the charge where appropriate."